Mary’s Moment

“’How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’”  Luke 1:34 

This moment… Mary’s moment. As a young woman, engaged to be married and faithful, Mary was given incredible news — that she would become pregnant with the promised Messiah. How did she respond? With faith.

Just months before, Zechariah was given news that his wife, Elizabeth would conceive in her old age. He doubted it, and he was silenced until John the Baptist was born. In contrast, Mary responded much differently to her astonishing news. She believed.

Only one of the four gospels records the encounter Mary had with the angel Gabriel. It is thought that the accounts written by Luke may have been taken from the testimony of Mary herself, the mother of Jesus. Luke often records stories of social outcasts, and he pays special attention to women, i.e., Mary, Elizabeth, Anna in the nativity story (1:5-2:39), and many others. Luke records that Gabriel told Mary that she was highly favored, and she most certainly was! She’d just been told that she was chosen to carry the Son of God within her — that she would be the “God-carrier.” What a magnificent, breath-taking moment. Mary believed and conceived.

God created man and woman out of the dust, yet He allowed Himself to be incarnate within a woman, born just like the rest of us. God certainly could have manifested Jesus out of the dust, fully in the form as an adult like Adam, but He did not. Instead, He chose to miraculously be conceived within Mary, even in her sinful state. This is the stamp of approval, in my humble opinion, that God gave to women — that He would choose to be born from within a woman’s womb into meager circumstances. This shows that He can relate even to the lowliest of us all.

The Virgin Birth Problem

“Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”  Isaiah 7:14 

Skeptics don’t believe in the virgin birth. It is rooted in a worldview that rejects any miraculous claims. My former boss once asked me if I ‘seriously believed’ that Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant with Jesus. When I replied “yes”, she coughed ‘a-hem’ to herself, and shrugged me off for a fool. Back then, I didn’t have an answer; I just had faith. The subject never came up again.

Years later, after I had moved away, I heard my old boss was dying from cancer. I sent her an email saying that I was praying for her. My prayers were that she would believe, despite the stumbling block of the virgin birth. Her worldview held a bias against it. She passed away, and I hope she came to faith in those final moments.

Philosophical Naturalism is the undercurrent belief of many today in secular society. It states that nothing outside of the natural is possible; in other words, miracles don’t happen. But Philosophical Naturalism can’t be true because it doesn’t explain things that do exist which are immaterial, like morality, memory, mathematical principles just to name a few. We must accept that, at times, supernatural events do occur. That’s easier for a Christian to believe, but for the doubter, it’s difficult.

Once naturalism is shown to be unreliable, often the skeptic will turn to a conspiracy story that the virgin birth was borrowed from pagan myths. I’ve written about this here, but to summarize it, many pagan mythologies describe the gods having intercourse with mortal women. This was definitely not the case in the Biblical narrative! Second century historians have noted that the pagan stories tend to adopt elements of Judaism into their religious beliefs, not the other way around. So there is no comparison.

If God can create the universe, He certainly can create the miraculous conception of the virgin Mary. 


  1. Mary Ann Vig December 23, 2023
    • LisaQAuthor December 23, 2023