Episode #118 Familiar, Impossible, Incredible – Awe in Advent
From Today's Episode:
Welcome! We're in our Awe in Advent Series and today's topic is Familiar, Impossible, Incredible.
Matthew 1:18-25; Isaiah 7:14
God, I believe that Jesus was born to a virgin mother, Mary, how do you want to use this testimony to build my faith today?
Here's the episode transcript
Hey friends, do you know that you need more wonder in your life?
Wonder isn't something that a lot of us commonly think about or talk about and especially don't always recognize the need that we have for it.
There's a lot of other things that we can need that capture our attention more insistently. I might need direction. I might need healing or provision for something going on in my life or my family. I feel those needs in really tangible ways. But we also need wonder.
We are loved by the Creator of the universe, and we can know God and allow him to know us more closely as well. We belong in each other's lives, and wonder stirs us to worship, prompts us to dive into the word, to come in awe before God, recognizing how different and separate and “other” he is from us.
Wonder makes space for questions and doesn't turn them away.
And wonder invites us into closer intimacy. It prompts curiosity and conversation. There's so many aspects of fun and play and enjoyment that comes in relationships that make space for fun and wonder.
That's one of the reasons as we go through this Christmas season, that we're taking a look at the prophecies that we have about the birth of Christ. And we're asking God to prompt wonder in our hearts and minds as we explore them. The aspect we're looking at today is the virgin birth, that Jesus was born to a virgin mother. And again, this can be so familiar to us. We can just kind of gloss over these details. You were probably told the very first time you ever heard the Christmas story that Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus.
But let's slow down a minute and wonder and ponder and consider what the implications of that really meant. I'm going to start for us reading the account of what happened from Matthew 1:18-25.
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:18-25)
So the verse that's quoted there, the prophecy that was fulfilled is from Isaiah 7:14. And it's the same wording.
“Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign, behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.” Which we know means God with us.
So what does it mean for us today that Jesus was born from a virgin mother? Let's think about that.
Never before, and never since in all of humanity has a virgin woman been able to conceive. Conception by God's design requires both male and female participation. But in this instance, the Holy Spirit accomplished the work. Jesus was born of a human mother, of the seed of a human, of a virgin mother, just as it was prophesied in several places in scripture.
Even when we look back to the first gospel and the way that God spoke to the serpent and his punishment for the deception, which we talked about a few episodes back, he talks about the seed of the human. There's significance here because it is the miraculous feat that God Himself told us about in advance and also accomplished fully by himself.
I wonder if part of why he chose a virgin mother to carry his son is because he wanted there to be no possible contradiction to the reality that God himself was the father. Mary was a virgin not only when Jesus was conceived, but she remained a virgin until he was born, as it tells us in Matthew.
Let's not allow this familiar story to lose its significance. These are miraculous circumstances that were foretold and that occurred in history. I even think about the way that this was foretold by the prophet Isaiah. Can you imagine announcing that the way the Messiah would come into the world is impossible by every human standard?
One of the invitations for us today is to let the fulfillment of this prophecy foster faith. Let it build the faith that you have to trust God. The God who does impossible things like accomplish a virgin birth. And so here's our question to ask him:
God, I believe that Jesus was born to a virgin mother, Mary. How do you want to use this testimony to build my faith today?
Have a good talk.
And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!
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