I had to go to the Gospels to see Jesus and then to know Him. I
used to spend a lot of time, as I was growing up, thinking about
His conception and His birth, His life as a baby, as a child, as a
boy, a teenager, and then a man.
Although Jesus’ life and ministry fulfilled all the Old Testament
prophecies for the first coming of the Messiah, the details are
always astounding and unpredictable. The prophecy said the
Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2), but no one
could have guessed exactly the King of kings would arrive on the
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:
When as his mother Mary was espoused to
Joseph, before they came together, she was found
with child of the Holy Ghost
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and
not willing to make her a public example, was
minded to put her away privily.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the
angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream,
saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take
unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived
in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Something really hit me when I first read this. How would you
like to be Joseph or Mary?
“Joseph, I’m pregnant, okay? Now listen, I know this is going to
sound crazy; and I love you with all my heart, but I have not
allowed another man to touch me. I’m a virgin, but I’m pregnant.
Oh, and the angel of the Lord told me that God was the father.”
Joseph’s not married and his lady, Mary, is pregnant. Talk about
embarrassing! How in the world do you explain to your family
The Man Behind the Myth
and friends how your girlfriend got pregnant if you say you
haven’t done anything? “Mary’s pregnant, and I know we’re
not married yet, but this is different. This is not what you think
“You’re not even married, you haven’t had marital relations,
and she’s pregnant? Yeah, right. Don’t lie to us, Joseph.”
Do you understand what we’re dealing with here? These are
not saints; they are normal, everyday people. So Joseph came
to the only conclusion he could. He was going to have to break
off his engagement to Mary. I mean, who’s going to believe he
didn’t touch her — and just forget that crazy story about the
angel of the Lord? But then the angel of the Lord spoke to
Joseph in a dream and said, “Don’t break off your engagement
This whole thing is of God.” Now Joseph can say
for sure, “No, I am not lying! I’m telling you the truth? I never
touched Mary and neither has anyone else. An angel came to
me and said that the baby was conceived by the power of the
Holy Spirit.” But can you imagine the frustration? This has
never happened before. This is a unique, one-of-a-kind event.
Who will believe him? What will family and friends say about
Thank God for the Word of the Lord that came to Joseph
through the angel. Knowing that this was done by the hand of
God was the only reason he and Mary could endure the shame
and reproach. I guarantee you, there were family members,
close friends, and neighbors who said, “Yeah, we know what
Joseph and Mary have been doing!”
“But we didn’t do it! The Holy Ghost did it? The angel of the
Lord spoke the Word and that’s it. We promise you, before
God, we did not do anything.
For me, this is where it all begins: Jesus’ supernatural conception.
He was born of a virgin. Jesus entered humanity in controversy,
as the rock of offense, the stumbling block —
because the whole thing was supernatural.