Matthew 1:18 – “His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.”
Have you ever asked why a virgin birth? In Matthew 1:22, we are given a biblical explanation/glimpse by referencing Isaiah 7:14, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).”
Now, what is going on in Isaiah 7 is that it begins with the account of king Ahaz during a time when God’s people are immersed in idolatry, have become desensitized to sin, and there is an overall rejection of the Lord. Therefore, as they were being oppressed by foreign powers due to Israel’s sin, God assures Ahaz of God’s promise of deliverance still. When the Lord asks Ahaz, ‘what sign do you want to see to assure you that God will deliver you’, Ahaz refuses to obey and ask for a sign.
Now why was this so wrong? The role of the King of Judah was to lead the people towards the Lord, and it was the role of the king to also engage the Lord for the sake of the people. However, when the Lord is dealing and engaging King Ahaz, he refuses to take that role, and here he stops engaging God. So, at this moment, we are left with this question, what do you do if the king—the one the Lord appointed from the line of David, is no longer leading and obeying the Lord? To consider even further, what happens if there are no more descendants of king David on the throne who were tasked to lead the people towards the Lord? To answer that question, the Lord himself says, I myself will give you a sign, and that sign is that a virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call him Immanuel. The point being, as Israel was in shambles, and the descendants of David thus far have failed, even still God will be faithful to His covenant by making the King/Messiah come from a virgin. Hence, God will cause the promised Messiah to come where once there was no life or hope.
So, in this passage we are seeing the Holy Spirit do the very thing that the Lord has promised to do! This is incarnational ministry!
So, in light of this, we come to this moment in Matthew 1—that through the Holy Spirit, Mary was pregnant with Jesus—and this is the sign of God’s promised salvation.
Today, this the sign that we have been given that assures us of God’s salvation—Jesus Christ is born of a virgin as declared in Isaiah 7:14. May hope and joy arise within our hearts, for the savior has come!