Born of a Virgin


By Heath Jarrett

When Luke set out to write his gospel, he scrutinized sources to compile his narrative (Luke 1:1). Luke was not an eyewitness of Christ's life but gleaned from eyewitness accounts, writing "an orderly account" so Theophilus, to whom he wrote, would have "certainty concerning the things [he had] been taught" (Luke 1:4).

It was critical that he got his story right. Luke, as a medical doctor, was used to researching and evaluating details. He was determined to have unerring accuracy. The inspiration of the Spirit provided both.

And crucial to relaying an orderly account of Christ was the virgin birth. For Luke, the fact that Jesus was born to a virgin named Mary was historical, verifiable, observable, empirical. And it was necessary to report.

In his opening chapter, Luke records the angel's announcement to Mary:

"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:31-33).

Mary's son was David's promised heir, the King of kings. And Jesus was also the Son of God (2 Sam 7:12-14). While Jesus was entirely human, his birth was also supernatural. Mary, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, could bear a son though she was a virgin (Luke 1:34-35). No one could miss this. Jesus was definitely unique.

"And Mary said to the angel, 'How will this be, since I am a virgin?' And the angel answered her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God" (Luke 1:34-35).

Over 700 years before Mary heard these words, this baby announcement was given to the house of David. Ahaz, the king of Judah, was told, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:13-14, Matt 1:23). All of Judah's kings including Ahaz failed to rule in righteousness. They weren't the promised son of David. Surely none of them were born to a virgin.