The birth of Jesus - 14 July 2023
By Mims Turley
Jesus’ birth is not just about shepherds, wise men and the stable. Sometimes, it is hard for me to believe that God himself became man, simply because the devil whispers in my ear – as my dear mother would say.
When in doubt, I always read the Bible to find answers. The Old Testament often refers to the birth of the Son: “… a young woman who is pregnant will have a son and will name him ‘Immanuel’.” (Isaiah 7:14)
We read in the Gospels, that an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said: “Joseph, … do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived …” (Matthew 1:20-21) When Joseph woke up, he was probably shocked and confused. However, as a devout Jew, Joseph possibly recognised the angel’s words as a quote from Isaiah’s prophecy.
The angel also appears to Mary. When he came to her, he said, “You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God.” (Luke 1:31-23) Mary was definitely shocked – how could she be pregnant? She said to the angel, “‘I am a virgin. How, then, can this be?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God’s power will rest upon you.'” (Luke 1:34-35) Then the angel reminded her: “… there is nothing that God cannot do.” (Luke 1:37)
Both Joseph and Mary receive the news that this child is the Son of God. In his book, “Knowing God”, JI Packer wrote: “The real difficulty lies not in the Good Friday message of atonement nor in the Easter message of resurrection, but in the Christmas message of Incarnation.” Why is it important that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary? It is because this miracle, the incarnation, the becoming of God, helps us to make sense of the rest of the New Testament.
Maybe, like me, you also doubt sometimes. Remember, nothing is impossible for God.
I believe in Jesus Christ who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you became fully human and also died for me. Amen