By Grant B. Caldwell
Points in the life of Christ go as far toward proving him to be the Son of God as do any other forms of proof. Two particular points the virgin birth and the miracles-must be viewed and understood and believed in order to have a true understanding of the Sonship of Jesus Christ.
The Virgin Birth
Modernists have been endeavoring for some time, now to explain away the virgin birth and the New Testament teaching on the matter. But try as they will, the Bible affirms that Jesus Christ was to be and was born of a virgin. By this, we simply mean that it was a matter of prophecy, and Jesus fulfilled that prophecy.
Prophecy: There could perhaps be several ways of discussing the virgin birth of Christ, but it would seem best to simply look at the advance notice made by God concerning the matter and then note how He carried out the matter.
Perhaps the first reference to this event is made at the time when it became obvious that man would need a redeemer. In Genesis, 3 -15, after man had fallen from his state of bliss and the Lord was ready to predict the one who would bruise the head of the great enemy of man, it is stated that this victor would be of the “seed of woman.” This is strange language in which to refer to a human being — strange even for the Bible. It is customary to refer to the seed from the male and not the female.
The most forceful of all the prophecies, however, is the one found in Isaiah 7:14. “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.” The scholarship of our day often seems to gain great enjoyment from ridiculing and finally rejecting the virgin birth. They affirm that the word translated “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14 only means a young woman and not necessarily a virgin. There are three Hebrew words that indicate a young female. Two of the words do not necessarily mean a virgin. However, the third word Almah- (used seven times including Isaiah 7:14) always means A young virgin.
Should we grant for the sake of argument that the word only means “a young woman,” the passage would no longer make sense. The prophet said that this would be “a sign.” How is a young woman bearing a child a sign? Young women do that every day and there is nothing significant about it. But it is indeed unusual for a woman who is a virgin to bring forth a child.
Fulfillment: In the first chapter of Matthews gospel, he gives the account of the fulfillment of these prophecies. Matthew states several key points of consideration:
1. This was before Joseph and Mary came together. (vs. 18)
2. Joseph wanted to put Mary away for he knew the child was not his. (vs. 19)
3. The angel said that the baby was of the Holy Ghost. (vs. 20)
4. Matthew regards this as the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14. (vs. 22)
Some have said that this tale was invented by Joseph and Mary to cover up for “their mistake” and that Jesus was simply illegitimate. This too makes no sense. Consider the facts. When Joseph found that the woman was with child, he was ready to put her away. If he and Mary had “come together” it would not have been a shameful thing, for they were espoused but because of custom had, not come together. It would have been no more than a violation of custom. Joseph never tried to hide anything and even allowed it to be thought that the child was his.
Paul further states that Christ was “made of a woman.” (Galatians 4:1-4) This could hardly be anything but a reference to his virgin birth.
Some have said that Jesus was a product of parthenogenesis. This is simply virgin or self reproduction. One professor at a certain university went to great lengths to argue this point. It should be noted, however, that this form of reproduction has never been known in higher life forms, much less in man. And besides this, genetically Christ would probably have been a woman if parthenogenesis was the method of his conception.
Too many today are following the reasoning of Harry Emerson Fosdick who said, “Of course I do not believe in the virgin birth or in that old-fashioned doctrine of the atonement and I do not know any intelligent Christian minister who does.” Maybe I am “old-fashioned” and I know I would not be classified by Mr. Fosdick as intelligent, but I believe in both. I will go one step further; if the minister does not believe in these, he is not a Christian.
No study of the divinity of Jesus would be complete without some discussion of the miracles he was credited with performing. Only one authorized by the God of heaven could heal the blind, cast out devils, raise the dead, cause the impotents to walk, and the leper to be pure. Jesus did all of this and more to prove that he was indeed the son of God.
In John 20:30-31, John said, “Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
In this brief resume of the proof of the sonship of Jesus based on his miracles, we would like to limit our investigation to a few of the miracles found in the Book of John. John writes this book, often referred to as the Gospel of Belief, with the specific purpose of proving through the miracles that Jesus is the Christ.
Examples: In John 2, the record of the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee is found. The report says that Jesus turned six water pots full of water into water pots full of good wine, wine better than had, been purchased for the occasion. The skeptic, of course, would deny this actually happening and probably label it as a fable. However, it should be noticed that this was no mean feast. With servants and a feast ruler, this surely was a party of size. Who would claim such an event as this, transpiring in an audience of such magnitude had it not actually happened? Material substances could not contain Jesus.
In John 4, he healed the Noblemans son. This he did without coming into the boys presence. He thus proved that distance could not contain him.
In John 5, we read concerning the man who bad been lame for thirty-eight years. Surely, there could be no doubt about this mans affliction. He was known to be an impotent fellow. Longevity could not contain Jesus.
In John 6, Christ fed the five thousand and persuaded them by this deed that he was from God. Lack of quantity could not contain him.
Also in John 6, Christ walked on the water, thus, proving that natural forces could not contain him.
In John 11, he raised Lazarus from the dead, showing that death could not contain him.
These few examples are cited to illustrate the power that Jesus used while here on earth. Christ affirmed that if people could not believe in him because of what he said, they could “believe me for the very works sake.” (John 14:11)
Modernists have openly and aggressively denied the miracles of Jesus. It seems foolish to me for someone who was not there to take it upon themselves to deny what they do not know. There is no record of anyone who was with Jesus denying that he performed these things. Oh, they denied the power by which he did them, but no one denied that be did the things lie claimed to do.
Testimony: Listen to those who were there. Nicodemus, “No man can, do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” (John 3:2) This man was a ruler of the Jews and John was willing to identify him. At the time of this writing, many would know whether or not such an event could have transpired.
The scribes said, “By the prince of devils casteth he out devils.” (Mark 3:22) Notice: They denied the power Christ claimed, but not the actual miracles.
Josephus, the Jewish historian, said “he performed many wonderful works.” So impressed was this man with Jesus that he thought it not right to call Jesus a man.
Jesus said, “The works that I do in my Fathers name, they bear witness of me.” (John 10: 25) Surely, only the Son of God could do the things that Jesus did. They prove him to be the Christ.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 37, pp. 5-7
July 27, 1972