How did God visit the world as a person?
“But I’m a virgin!”
“I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Great joy and blessing, and yet, 9 months of awkward explanations that must have been difficult to live through:
- An unwed mother in the past was subject to death by stoning
- What do you think her parents felt as they watched their teenage daughter?
- What did the villagers think?
- How often would Mary, herself, and Joseph review the angel’s words as the child grew inside her?
- Once born, how do you think the villagers treated the boy with questionable paternity?
- Joseph’s noble qualities: His tender consideration for Mary and his willingness to bear ridicule to protect her and Jesus
The Virgin Birth
According to Luke (1:34-35), "Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most High will overshadow you. And therefore also the child which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.” According to Matthew, Joseph when perplexed by the pregnancy of Mary, is told by the angel: "Fear not to take unto Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of Holy Spirit." (1:20).
How did Matthew and Luke derive their information about Jesus’ birth?
The only witnesses to the Announcement were Mary and the angel. Later on the angel informed Joseph of the mystery. We do not know whether Elizabeth, though; filled with Holy Spirit, learned the full truth supernaturally, but we may suppose that Mary confided the secret both to her friend and her spouse, thus completing the partial revelation received by both.
If we compare Matthew’s narrative with that of Luke’s, we find that Matthew may have drawn his information from Joseph, independently from any information furnished by Mary.
Matthew (1:18): "When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Spirit." Joseph could supply these facts either from personal knowledge or from the words of the angel: "That which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Spirit.”
Luke, who was a close friend and support to Mary, seems to draw his knowledge directly from Mary. Luke points to Mary as the source of his account of the infant Jesus, when he says that Mary kept all these words in her heart (2:19, 51).