Text: Matthew 1:22-23
At this time of year you think about the birth of Jesus Christ as a wonderful thing. Folks get out the nativity scene and sometimes even perform a live nativity scene. Complete with smiling shepherds, giggling Mary and Joseph and perhaps even real animals.
Circumstances of the prophecy
- Matthew 1:22-23 is a reference to Isaiah 7:14.
- Rebellious king Ahaz of Judah is being threatened by Syria and the northern tribes of Israel in war. The Lord sends a message to Ahaz through Isaiah then tells Ahaz to request a sign. Ahaz rejects the offer. And like everything else Ahaz has done in his life, this is just another time where he’s disobeyed and ignored God.
- Isaiah’s prophecy is a rejection of Judah’s royal lineage. (See Jeremiah 22:30).
- Now, if you’re trying to make up a story about Jesus so you can get him on the throne, you don’t throw away his royal lineage. You would do everything you can to preserve it and prove it.
Complications this caused
- The history of Jesus Christ’s birth is more complicated. Mary is engaged to Joseph and then turns out to be pregnant. Joseph is quite a good man, but thinking what normal people think; she must have someone else. I’ve heard of critics criticizing Mary and Joseph for being too primitive and they just didn’t understand how children were born “back then”. Joseph is told in a dream what is happening. That leads to a little practical question about God, is it necessary that God reveal Himself? The answer to that is yes. Jesus Christ asked one time who do you say that I am? Peter said the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said flesh and blood have not revealed that to you but my Father in heaven.
- Back to the birth of Christ. A virgin bearing a son is complicated. Not because it’s hard for God, but because it’s hard for man. Then Caesar taxes the world which forces Joseph and Mary to travel while Mary is about to give birth. What a journey that would be! On top of that, because of the taxing, many people had returned to their home towns, plus all the IRS officials in town made for the inns to be completely booked. The weren’t 300 room hotels. These inns had four or five extra rooms and that was it. So Mary is having a baby. The couple are putting together tax money and now there is no place for them to stay, so they end up in a shepherd’s stall where Mary can at least have her baby. The shepherds are in the field when the angel tells them about baby Jesus. I think they head back to their stalls back at the ranch and find Joseph, Mary, and Jesus altogether in one of the stalls.
Critics of virgin conception
- God will never do anything without being criticized or mocked for it.
- The unscientific claim is not valid since IVF has come about.
- Worldly Critic:
- If you reject the virgin birth because you believe in evolution you’re just an idiot. You’d be willing to say life came from nothing, but reject the idea that at least a woman was present for the virgin birth. Half the genetic material is there wherein your case there is nothing.
- God had already created people four different ways by the time you get to the virgin birth.
- Out of dust.
- Out of a rib. God was dealing with DNA and genetics a long time ago.
- Out of husband and wife naturally.
- Out of husband and wife beyond child bearing age.
- A virgin birth is no problem.
- There had also been people created out of perversion when the angels – sons of God – had children with women in Genesis 6.
- Scholarly Critic:
- Someone said “virgin” is mistranslated in Isaiah 7:14. They said it should say “young woman.
- Equally stupid since a young woman having a child is hardly a sign to anyone.
- Medical Critic:
- Another critic said there was no medical proof. Luke wrote about it as a doctor. Not to mention the responses of Mary and Joseph to the news of a conception tells you all you need to know. The problem is that critic doesn’t accept the medical evidence they’re given.
- Another critic said there is no DNA evidence. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard. If you had DNA evidence, what would you compare it to to show it was God’s DNA? Again, while you’re in a lab coat with goggles staring down a microscope to disprove the Bible, Jesus Christ is risen from the dead (See Romans 1:4) proving His divine nature.