December 11, 2023

How Can This Be?

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


Mary’s question was motivated by reason and rationale, not doubt. Who wouldn’t ask about the practical workings of a virgin giving birth? When you think about it, many people approach salvation in a similar way. You can have genuine questions without doubting God. So, what can we learn about salvation from the Virgin Birth?


First, what seemed like an impossible situation resulted in a supernatural birth. Likewise, we’re all born into an impossible situation—sin. Think about it…you don’t have to teach kids to do wrong; you have to teach them to do what’s right. That’s because sin is standard operating equipment! We can’t earn forgiveness and righteousness or work our way to Heaven; and we certainly can’t pay our way. We need a supernatural birth.


Also notice that the angel greeted Mary as, “Favored one” (Luke 1:28), which can also be translated, “grace.”We cannot be born again without grace. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” In other words, we are favored by God through salvation.


Mary’s question, “How can this be?” was based on her status rather than God’s. Maybe you think about your salvation in a similar way, “How can this be, since I’ve sinned so much?” The angel’s two-fold response holds the key. Mary’s pregnancy would be a work of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Salvation can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit because it’s a holy work. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done; you will be saved if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing is impossible with God!


Mary was an obscure person, in a nowhere town, engaged to a simple carpenter. Most of us also live simple lives in obscurity. Yet Jesus came to Earth specifically for us. He seeks us out and finds us. When did you experience this supernatural birth? As you celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ birth this Christmas, don’t forget to celebrate the miracle of your spiritual birth. Tell someone your story today, because the Virgin Birth is the promise of victory!