By Hoyt H. Houchen
Question: Why was Jesus born of a virgin?
Reply: Skepticism and denial of the virgin birth of Jesus not only exist among the non-religious, but they also prevail within the religious circle. Modernism and infidelity have both infiltrated the pulpits of some religious bodies. Many people believe that Jesus was the greatest man who ever lived, even the greatest moralist and teacher, but they deny that He was born of a virgin, thus rejecting His deity.
According to the natural laws of procreation, conception occurs when the sperm of a man unites with the egg of a woman. This, however, was not the case with Jesus. He was born of a virgin. It was prophesied that He would be (Isa. 7:14), and the narratives of Matthew and Luke assert it (Matt. 1:18-23; Lk. 1:26-35). The virgin birth of Jesus was a supernatural event, a miracle, which those of us who believe that the Bible is the word of God accept by faith.
Why was Jesus born of a virgin? The pre-existence of our Lord necessitated a miraculous conception. The preexistence of Jesus is affirmed in John 1:1,2: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. ” The “Word” here is Logos (Gr.) and refers to Christ who is the Logos. This term (Logos) which applies only to Christ in this passage, also appears in 1 John 1:1 and in Revelation 19:13. Although logos may at times refer to speech (utterance of words), or to the divine mind of God (see Heb. 4:12), its use in the above passage applies to the person of Christ. In John 1:1,2, the word is used with reference to Christ in connection with His pre-existence with His Father. Other New Testament passages testify to the pre-existence of our Lord (2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15, 16; Eph. 1:4,10). While Jesus lived on earth, He affirmed that He was before Abraham (Jn. 8:58). He had lived eternally in union with His Father before His birth upon this earth.
When we entered this world by the natural laws of procreation, we became persons; we were newly created. But Jesus was already a person before His birth. This was true only of Jesus, but not true of us. The natural union of a man and woman cannot bring into the world a person who has existed before (even though some believe and teach the doctrine of reincarnation–rebirth in new bodies). Joseph and Mary could not bring the pre-existent Son of God into the world. His entering into the world had to be by divine intervention. The miraculous conception and virgin birth of Jesus was exactly how it was done. He became man to reveal Himself to man. Men could see God the Father in Him. In His discourse to the Jews, Jesus said, “If God were your father, ye would love me: for I came forth and am come from God; for neither have I come of myself, but he sent me” (Jn. 8:42). John declared of Him he came forth from God, and goeth to God” (Jn. 13:3).
The virgin birth of Jesus was unique. There was never anything like it before, nor has it been since. It explains how Jesus came to earth from God. The subsequent life, teaching and miracles of Jesus all attest to the fact that indeed He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of a virgin.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 18, p. 549
September 20, 1984