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Weekly Bible Study
“Matthew 1: Pt. 7 Mt. 1:18-25”
by Art Sadlier   
March 21st, 2010

The Virgin Birth

There are five distinct elements in this text

The Virgin Birth

1- Conceived    2- Confronted    3 - Clarified   4 - Connected    5 - Consumated

How do the liberals handle these verses?

They Say....We do believe this is an account of a virgin birth, this was written by a well meaning fellow, but this is not inspired by God.

They Say....At the time Matthew wrote this, there were a lot of virgin birth myths floating around. It was just kind of a popular thought at the time. When Matthew was writing his account of Jesus birth, he just snatched one of these myths out of the air and incorporated it in his account.

The fact is there have always been a lot of virgin birth myths floating around! Guess who made them up? Satan! Why?  He is the master counterfeiter! He is the great deceiver! Many years before this Satan began his myths of deception concerning virgin births.

One myth states that Semiramis the High Priestess of Babylonian occultism had a son supposedly born of a sun beam, his name was Tammuz. This son died when he was killed by a wild boar. His mother prayed and wept for forty days and he came back to life. Lent has nothing to do with the Bible!

The mixture of the Babylonian false systems of religion with Christianity has created the muddled, mother-child cult that is known today in Catholicism as Mariolatry.

There have always been these virgin birth myths.

Another Illustration....There was a legend that claimed that Alexander the Great was virgin born. Alexander's mother Olympius conceived Alexander of a snake. Greek legend tells who that snake was, it was Zeus a greek god, thus Alexander was the virgin born son of Zeus. This is a filthy, vile, stupid legend, just one of many that came from the hand of Satan to discredit the virgin birth of Christ which he knew from scripture to be a future event.

To accuse Matthew of taking a myth of a virgin birth and apply it to Christ is to do two things.

1 - To accuse Matthew of being a blatant liar.

2 - To say that in fact, the Word of God is not the word of God, but the word of men.

This story is not a myth, it is history. The fact is that among the Jews there had never been a lot of talk about Messiah being virgin born. That event was veiled in the Old Testament and they didn't really see it. But there was Old Testament evidence that Messiah would be God. That evidence was veiled but it was there. Just a couple of Old Testament verses. Genesis 3:15, that is a veiled reference to the Messiah being virgin born.  Isaiah 7:14 seems clear to us after the fact, but to them the fact that Messiah would be God, was a mystery.

It wasn't until the New Testament that the full mystery of godliness was revealed. See 1Timothy 3:16, not until the New Testament did the deity of Messiah become crystal clear.

Understand, that if it is clear in the New Testament that Jesus is God in human flesh, then what will be the point of attack of every false system? The answer is the deity of Christ. Invariably they all attack at this point!  The evidence is here in our text to support the fact of the deity of Christ.

No matter what others say, no matter what the Jews may or may have not believed. No matter what the legends were. No matter what the critics say. No matter what the slanderers may say. Matthew records the facts.

Lets look at the first of the five elements of the virgin birth.

1 - The Virgin Birth Conceived

I hope that you are not so familiar with the story that your senses are not dulled to the wonder of it all.

Matthew 1:18 "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." The Spirit of God tells us in plain, clear language that Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit. The word "birth" is the same word as found in the first verse, "generation" (genealogy). In fact in verse 18, Matthew is giving the generation of Jesus Christ from the divine side. In verse 1, he is giving the generation of Christ from the human side.

The divine side of Christ's genealogy is that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God. So verse 18 says: "The Birth (genealogy) of Jesus Christ was on this wise, when his mother Mary..."  We do not know much about Mary. The Bible doesn't give us a whole lot of information, but it does tell us some things about her.

In John 19:25 we learn that Mary had a sister whose name was also Mary, that was not uncommon in those times.  In Luke 1:36 we learn that Mary had a cousin Elizabeth who was the mother of John the baptist. Jesus and John were cousins. According to Luke, Mary's father was Heli. We do not know much else about Mary other than that. Her early life was spent in Nazareth.  She was probably of a poor family and she was hard working. We also know that she was a very righteous young woman. If you do a character study of Mary, you can examine her own words in Luke 1:

In luke 1:35 the announcement is given to Mary that she is tohave the Holy child, listen to Mary's response in verse 38, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."  We see a beautiful spirit of submission and yieldedness, she was totally submitted to God and His Word.

In verse 45 we learn a second thing about Mary, Elizabeth said "Blessed is she that believed", Mary was a woman of faith, she believed God. Mary was a person who submitted to God and to His word, who lived by faith and was a righteous person. See Mary in Luke 1: 46-49,  what a godly lady.

When the word came there was no doubting, no pondering, no questioning, there was instant belief and instant submission.If you desire to be used of God, you would do well to pattern your life after the life of Mary.

Mary= Greek= Miriam which means rebelliousness. Was she in her early life rebellious? And did she repent of that to become the submissive servant of God?

Back to Matthew 1:18, "Mary was espoused to Joseph" We know nothing about Joseph's background!  He is described by a greek term, "carpenter or mason", it is probable that he was both, the two would go together in those days. He was undoubtedly a poor, hard working man. He was a righteous person, verse says, "And being a righteous man," it says in verse 19. He was a true Old Testament saint, so here are two Old Testament saints.

They were undoubtedly very young. Most Bible scholars feel they were in their teen years. Marriage occured to girls  as young as 12-13 years of age. Yet we see in Mary a tremendous maturity, maturity is not always related to age!

"Mary was espoused (betrothed) to Joseph".  Betrothed, what does that mean?  A little background.... In the Old Testament and rabinical writings there were two stages in marriage.  Kiddushin = The betrothal.   Huddah = The marriage ceremony and consumation. (Deut.20:7)

Two families would draw up a contract that promised marriage, it was a binding contract! If at any time during that betrothal period, the marriage vow was violated there had to be an official divorce. They were constituted as married, though there was no physical relationship whatever. By the way, that is what the exception clause is in Matthew 19 is all about, it involves the betrothal period only. The betrothal lasted about 12 months. It was a proving or testing time. There was very little social contact during that time for them.

After the betrothal period was over the Huppah took place. That was the wedding and it lasted approximately seven days, seven days of wedding feast.

There was the "Mohar", the price paid for the bride, it was in goods or services, a chicken or a cow or sheep or perhaps something greater in the way of money.

1 - It compensated the father. It helped for the Huppah. She would be now working with her husband for her husband's father.

2 - It was a kind of life insurance for the bride. If the husband died, her father who had been holding it in trust, would give it back to his daughter.

It was in this betrothal period of Joseph and Mary, that Mary was, "found with child with the Holy Ghost", notice it says, "before they came together". There was no question, Joseph was not the father, even though they were officially married! Joseph was a righteous man who would not violate God's standard. God looks with great concern on purity! Virginity is very important to God, it is a sacred thing, not something to be trifled with! God's law in the Old Testament was that those who violated their virginity outside of marriage were to be stoned to death!

Mary knew  and understood what was going on. Mary knew why she was pregnant but poor Joseph did not know. What a shock it was when he found out! He knew Mary, he knew this girl. He knew the righteous standard of her life, her purity. This was totally out of character, this was incredible, this was impossible, this made no sense at all!

Joseph knew Deut. 22 well enough to know that when a woman became pregnant with child outside of marriage, the punishment was death. Mary had no way under the sun of protecting her reputation, so the Spirit of God protected her right on these pages. So the scriptures record that God by His Spirit had planted this seed in Mary.

How does that work? I have no idea in the world. It was just a miraculous act of God. None of us understands the mystery of normal human birth! So a cloud of suspicion hung over Mary. In all history, inspite of the myths, there had never been a virgin birth. But this ws not a problem for the Holy Spirit, he had been the agent in the creation of the world. It was nothing for the Holy Spirit to create a virgin birth.

Understand, Jesus needed to be born of a woman, in order to be a man, so that He could die as one of us and for us on the cross. Jesus could not be born of Adam's seed or else He would be contaminated by Adam's sin, so he could not be the biological son of Joseph and be a sinless sacrifice. Scripture tells us that the sin nature of Adam is passed on through the man not through the woman.

So Jesus had to be the child of Mary and the Son of God, and that is exactly what He was!

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