The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 64 of 207
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We should note that each of the fourteen generations corresponds to a great historical
period. The first fourteen comprise the age of the patriarchs and judges; the second
comprises the age of the kings, and the third the period of Jewish decadence. The Greek
egennesen, begat, which occurs regularly, does not always mean immediate parentage,
but direct descent. The section ends with "Joseph the husband of Mary of whom was
born Jesus Who is called Christ" (1: 16). The relative pronoun whom (hes) can only refer
to Mary, because of its gender (feminine) and number. It cannot refer to Jacob or Joseph.
The Birth of the Messiah (1: 18 - 25).
The word `birth' here is genesis. Dr. J. Morison writes "the Evangelist is about to
describe, not the genesis of the heaven and earth, but the genesis of Him Who made the
heaven and the earth, and Who will yet make a new heaven and a new earth". Mary was
betrothed to Joseph. Bethrotal was a much more serious thing in Jewish law than an
engagement is with us. It was of equal force with marriage itself. It could only be
severed by divorce, and faithlessness was treated as adultery and punishable with death
(Deut. 22: 23-27).
Mary was found to be pregnant through the work of the Holy Spirit. Luke gives
additional details of this stupendous miracle. The wonderful delicacy of both narratives
gives historic reality, so utterly different to the impure legends of heathen mythology.
The apocryphal gospels clearly show that they could produce nothing similar. Their
inventions are nothing if not distressing. Dr. A. Plummer correctly assesses the situation
when he says, "if the two Evangelists had sought material in legends of pagan or Jewish
origin we should have had something very different from the narratives which have been
the joy and the inspiration of Christendom through countless generations . . . . . nothing in
the early Christian literature warrants us in believing that a writer of the first or second
century could have imagined such things and described them thus".
Dr. A. T. Robertson's words are also to the point here:
"Both Matthew and Luke present the birth of Jesus as not according to ordinary
human birth. Jesus had no human father . . . . . We see here God, sending His Son into
the world to be the world's Saviour, and He gave Him a human mother, but not a human
father, so that Jesus Christ is both Son of God and Son of Man, the God Man . . . . . One
credits these most wonderful of all birth narratives according as he believes in the love
and power of almighty God to do what He wills."
The Lord Jesus was born in the flesh, but not of the flesh.
It is quite amazing to read the different reactions of theologians to the virgin birth.
Some openly reject it and others say it is not important and that redemption does not
depend on it. The blindness here is nothing less than appalling, for it can be stated most
definitely that redemption would have been impossible without it. It was absolutely
necessary for Christ to be sinless if He was to be the Saviour of sinners. Had He any sins
of His own, He would have needed a Saviour Himself. One sinner cannot save another
sinner (Psa. 49: 6, 7). The Holy One, the Lord Jesus alone could be the ransom for
sinners (Matt. 20: 28; I Tim. 2: 6) and pay the price for their deliverance and salvation.