This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.
One of the most controversial teachings in the Bible is the virgin birth of Jesus. This is the belief that Jesus’ mom, Mary, was a virgin at his conception and remained a virgin through his birth. This is taught clearly in the Bible.
Matthew 1:18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:34-35 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
The Bible’s evidence for the virgin birth is straightforward, but there are a few things that need to be said about this doctrine.
The Virgin Birth Isn’t a Fairy Tale
Some people claim that the virgin birth is a fairy tale or myth that was taken from other ancient myths. While it is true that there are many stories from the ancient world about promiscuous gods impregnating human women (for example, Hercules), the biblical description of the virgin birth is much different.
The Gospels tell the story of God sending his Son to earth. The details of the birth of Jesus are much different than the ancient myths. In the Bible, there is no sexual union in the conception of Jesus. The conception of Jesus takes place supernaturally through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Also, the virgin birth is one of the earliest traditions in the New Testament. It dates to the beginnings of the Christian church. If the virgin birth had been completely fabricated, then there would have been at least several people in the church to disprove it. According to Acts 1:14, Mary and Jesus’ brothers were part of the Christian church. They could have easily dismissed the virgin birth if it was a myth.
The Virgin Birth Makes Sense in a World with Miracles
Some people dismiss the virgin birth because they dismiss miracles in general. If you don’t believe that God performs miracles, then it will be very hard for you to accept the virgin birth. Yet, if you are a Christian, then you believe that God is active in the world. If you are a Christian, then you accept the reality of the resurrection. And if God can raise Jesus from the dead, then he can make the virgin birth possible.
The Virgin Birth Points to the True Nature and Purpose of Christ
Even if you believe in the virgin birth, you still might wonder why it is important. There are at least several reasons why the virgin birth is important:
- The virgin birth demonstrates that from beginning to end salvation is a work of God’s grace. God had to supernaturally provide our savior as evidenced through the birth of Jesus.
- The virgin birth demonstrates that Jesus is both God and human. If Jesus had simply beamed down from heaven, then some would doubt his humanity. If he had been born through natural, biological methods, then many would question his divinity.
- The virgin birth points to Jesus’ sinlessness. The Bible teaches that sin came into the human race through Adam. As a result, sin has been passed on from generation to generation. Jesus’ supernatural conception breaks the line of sin that started with Adam. As God and man, Jesus is our sinless representative.
The virgin birth is an important belief that needs to be believed by all Christians.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Before you watched this video, what were your thoughts on the virgin birth of Jesus?
- How is the virgin birth different from myths from the ancient world?
- How does your view of miracles affect your ability to believe in the virgin birth?
- What would Christianity be without the virgin birth? Explain.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.