Larry King, the famous CNN host, was once asked with whom he would most want to interview from all of history. He said, Jesus Christ. The question was then posed, What would you ask him? And King replied, If he was indeed born of a virgin. The answer to this question would define history, not just for King but for all of us.
The Immaculate Conception is very puzzling for most people. When it is put into its context, it doesn’t seem like such a stretch of faith that the creator God, who made everything in the universe, who created man out of dust from the earth, Could impregnate a young girl with the Holy Spirit.
Much has been made of this controversial issue. As Larry King stated, history would be definite if we had such proof. Isn’t it always the quest of man: to require proof? Yet Scripture tells us we walk by faith and not by sight. This birth was actually prophesied by Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. The Virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and he will be called Immanuel. Immanuel means God with us. This passage was written 700 years before the birth of Christ, and is just one of the hundreds of prophesies that were written about the coming Messiah in Scripture.
In the Catholic tradition, Mary is considered to be “sinless,” which means that she would have been born sinless herself. She then would have given birth to Jesus, who was born sinless. In other Christian circles of faith, this is not the understanding of the Immaculate Conception. Jesus was born without sin. Yet if we take a look at the confession of Mary, who in her wonderful song of rejoicing of her understanding that she would be with child, Luke 1:46-55 (Mary’s song,) she declares that she is in need of God her Savior. She implies that she is a sinner and in need of a Savior. This is also consistent with the apostle Paul in Romans 3:23, who says that for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This is the great fact for us. That has been the fact since the beginning of time in Genesis when Adam and Eve experienced the fall and the separation of man. All men are born of the “first Adam” as it says in Scripture. The second Adam, the rebirth, is Jesus Christ. Mary is not exempt from this, for she was woman. Mary was a sinner, just like you and I.
Mary gave birth to Jesus in the conventional way, no doubt with the pains of childbirth which comes from Eve’s disobedience (Gen 3:16). Jesus was delivered (literally, through childbirth) in a conventional manner. It was the conception of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that was supernatural. As Larry King pondered, learning if Jesus were truly born of a virgin would be the Rosetta Stone of all history.
By faith, we believe these things. From a sinless conception of no human agent, no male required, and only Mary’s womb to protect the baby, a child was born. Jesus, without sin, would be the perfect sacrifice on the Cross.
When the Angel Gabriel declared to Mary that she would give birth to the son of God, she didn’t believe him. Does this not count for Mary’s sinfulness? She disobeyed the first commandment: love thy Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy mind. Implicitly it states to trust the Lord. If Mary doubted what the Angel said, then by her very nature, she was sinful. She was not living in a proper relationship with God. With love, the Angel Gabriel replied to her, “For nothing is impossible with God.” We can take great comfort in all that God provides, for truly nothing is impossible with God.
You must realized that you live in a fallen world where self-will is exercised on a daily basis. If something terrible happens in your life, you question your relationship with God. Perhaps you even curse Him for allowing you to suffer. Because of man’s ego, wars break out. This is not truly the will of God. Romans 8:28: God will work all things to the good of those who love Him. As you grow in your faith, you will understand that every day is a walk with God. Instead of trying to figure out why God does what He does, you choose to live each day to your fullest, persevering to overcome daily struggles. Try to take strength in the great God of Promise who promised to never leave you or forsake you. He will always be there for you, especially when you’re down. In your desolation, it’s God’s favorite time to come into your life and perform soul-changing miracles. We’re all sinners. Even Mary was a sinner. Although our sins are expected and forgiven, sin is not God’s will for you. Allow God to reshape you and regenerate you into who you were born to become: a person of love and faith.