“Now the birth of Jesus took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. ...Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means God with us)..." Matthew 1: 18-25.
For many, getting pregnant out of wedlock is not such a big deal. In fact, many believe whether or not to have a child is strictly a woman's choice, whether she is married or not. However, not so in Mary's day. Joseph, her husband to be, could have had Mary stoned. Can you imagine having to tell Joseph this news and explaining how she had not been with another man. We can see the tell-tell eyes of the community saying, "Mary is not as sweet and innocent as we thought."
The Old Testament people knew God but he was a God that existed and dealt with man on the outside. When he did deal with man it was as in a burning bush, a vision, or or in the case of the Israelites as a cloud that led them. However, in this scripture we see for the first time the power of God in the body of the Holy Spirit moving literally on the inside to radically transforming a person.
Jesus virgin birth is the first and foremost truth we must believe about Jesus. He was conceived not from man but the Holy Spirit accomplishing in Mary the very work he has purposed for her life to birth the Christ Child, the promised Messiah. This child's name was to be Immanuel, meaning, God with us. God in his majesty, was coming as a child to be with us, to live among us, to show us a different way. In this whole process of Christ coming, God reveals to us how he unites with our very nature. God is with us by the influence of the Holy Spirit within us.
The one thing that resonates so loudly with me, in this scripture, is that, as a follower of Christ, God through the Holy Spirit is in us, acting and moving in us. He accomplishes what we cannot do alone. Mary accepted God's way, God's plan, not only influencing her life but that of mankind.
We can say we believed Mary's story, but, how quick would we believe if we had been Mary's mother, sister, friend, boyfriend or spouse? We have the advantage of many biblical accounts and evidences in our faith community of the Holy Spirit's working in people's lives, healing, comforting, enlightening, defending, and protecting us from Satan, his demons, and.... our own selfish desires. Before we come down on the people for not believing, we need to realize that we deny that Jesus can heal. We do not see miracles today because we do not want to believe that the Holy Spirit can perform miracles. That miracle were only in biblical days.
We are not so different from the community in Mary's day. Why do we deny the power of the Holy Spirit to do the miraculous things like transforming, the addict, the murder, liar, adulterer, and... all sorts of other sins like jealously, envy, pride, and hypocrisy. Why do we deny his ability to provide us with the things we so desire, such as health, family, and financial stability. Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to come over us, to indwell us, to heal us of any sins that controls, binds us from, or separated us from God, we choose to deny God power and ability to work in our lives.
Application: What would our home, churches, marriages, and neighborhoods be like if we truly had the power of the Holy Spirit living in us? Do you need a Messiah? What do you need in your life? If the Holy Spirit can conceive a Child, He can....
Dear Father, if the Holy Spirit can conceive a Child, He can _______ in my life. Holy Spirit make yourself known in my life. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.