The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35
Within the last century, our science and technology have improved our understanding of pregnancy and childbirth. We can know very early if a woman is pregnant, we can monitor the baby’s health, and we can even know whether to prepare for a girl or a boy.
Mary didn’t have the advantages of modern medicine, but she did understand how pregnancy worked.
That’s why she asked in Luke 1:34, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Still, she believed and knew it to be true because the angel declared it. God is at work in this miracle, and the angel carried that message. In a similar way, an angel declared to Abraham’s wife, the aged mother of Isaac, that she would have a son. An angel declared to Zechariah’s wife, the aged mother of John, that she would have a son. Both were miracles, but both were long-married couples. When Mary was told of her pregnancy, she was not only younger, she was not yet married.
This miracle would also be the birth of a son, but not just any son. The one born would be holy, would “be called the Son of God.” She was also told of Elizabeth’s pregnancy and assured of God’s promise. When she visited her cousin Elizabeth, the baby leaped. The boy, John, was born, and Mary witnessed these promises fulfilled.
At that same time, in the book of Matthew, we find the account of Joseph. He knows the child of Mary is not his child. He received a visit from a messenger of God, the angel. Joseph could not understand how this woman pledged to be his wife, a virgin, could be pregnant. But he too listened to the words of the angel and believed. He took Mary as his wife, and they named the son Jesus.
God’s promises of three miracle boys came true. There were witnesses to the lives of Isaac, John, and Jesus. God’s messengers, his angels, Mary, and Joseph all testified to the virgin birth of the Son of God.
Dear Lord, instill in me the humble, quiet acceptance to believe the miracles used in providing me with eternal life through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the holy Son of God. Amen.
Professor Greg Diersen serves Martin Luther College as a professor of math and science.