“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38
How can this be? Upon hearing the announcement of the angel Gabriel, Mary wondered how she, a virgin, could conceive in her womb and bring forth this Son who would be called “the Son of the Highest” and who would reign on the throne of His father David forever – over an eternal kingdom.
The answer of God’s angel is recorded for us in the Word of God: “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). By the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit, Mary would both conceive in her womb and give birth to this promised Son while yet being a virgin, “for with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37; cf. Isa. 7:14).
There is another – possibly even greater – “How can this be?” for us to consider. How can this be that God would send His only begotten Son into the world to save sinners like you and me? How can this be that God the Son would come into this world and take on human flesh and blood, becoming true man – not for just a few years, but forever? But this He did.
The Bible tells us: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same” (Heb. 2:14); “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
How can it be that “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4,5)?
How can it be that Jesus Christ would even go to the cross to suffer and die for your sins, for my sins and for the sins of the world? And, yet He did. The Scripture says: “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
How can this be that, after He rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of God the Father, He sent His Holy Spirit to bring us to faith in Christ through the hearing of the Gospel and then dwell in our hearts that we might continue to trust in Him and partake of His everlasting kingdom? But again the Bible tells us: “God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6).
How can this be? Jesus Himself tells us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
In unfathomable love – in love beyond our understanding – God has done all this for you and for me! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Dear Father in heaven, we thank You for Your great love for us sinners in sending Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world, a true man, born of the Virgin Mary, that He might redeem us from sin and everlasting punishment and grant us a place with Him in His eternal kingdom. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.]