Real History, Real People

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We begin to read through Matthew’s Gospel in today’s Bible reading.

I like how Matthew begins his gospel grounding Jesus in his lineage. Jesus doesn’t just drop out of the sky. He doesn’t just appear on the scene. He was born just like every other human being has been born.

Matthew doesn’t gloss over some of the notable people, including some morally-compromised people, including King David, an adulterer, and a murderer. Matthew, like other Gospel writers showed that Jesus was born in a line of real people who lived in a real time in history. And Jesus is thoroughly grounded in Old Testament history.

But Matthew is very quick to point out that Jesus was born of a virgin. Very clearly he says that Joseph married Mary, but he kept her pure until Jesus was born. This was indeed a miraculous conception. Never before and never since has anyone been born without a biological father. But to throw out the virgin birth of Jesus is to discount a major part of His history. And yet, so many people do simply because it seems too spectacular to be true. And if it is true, then Jesus is special. He is divine. He is to be obeyed. And people don’t like to be told what to do.


What about you? Do you believe that Jesus was born of a woman who had never “known” a man? If not, why not?

If Jesus was born of a virgin (not just a “young woman” kind of virgin, but a “virgin” kind of virgin), then He is who the Bible writers claimed He is, and who He said He is: God, made flesh. And if He is God, made flesh (or God in a “dirt suit” as a friend of mine has said), then He isn’t just some guy who was born in a legend in someone’s mind. He is a special human being, as much a human being as you are. The differences are that He never sinned and He is also as much God as God the Father is.

It also means that His sacrificial death makes it possible for you to have a relationship with a wholly, Holy, and righteous God. If you have trusted His payment for your sin, you are justified — you have a right standing — before this righteous judge.

So what difference does that make in your life?