Ask the Professor: The birth of Jesus

12/22/16
10:03 PM




The birth of Christ to a virgin mother was miraculous. But why wasn’t it talked about more in the gospels? According to professor Mark Muska, the authors of the gospels were very intentional with what they focused on in their accounts of Jesus’ life.

“The gospel writers didn’t want us to get distracted with things that we might be curious about, but they really weren’t the main things they were trying to communicate.”

 

Professor Muska points out that each of the authors had their own emphasis and reasons for writing what they did.

“Mark appears to really want to zero in on the active ministry of Christ, once He was baptized by John. Mark 1 starts with John baptizing. Jesus comes to be baptized, and off we go. He uses the word 'immediately' in there a bazillion times, because it’s action; it’s dynamic, all the way through to provide a witness of who Jesus is and what He did.”

 

Luke chose to write about the virgin birth to help the church gain a better understanding of the deity and humanity of Christ.

“Luke describes it in his 1, 2 and 3 chapters. He’s giving us evidence for both the deity and the humanity of Christ. Jesus is born like babies are born; Mary goes full term, she goes into labor. Yet, the virgin birth doesn’t happen very often.... The Holy Spirit conceived Him within Mary and so right there you’ve got evidence of real humanity, and yet something really extraordinary there; something special, the Son of God.”

 

If Jesus wasn’t virgin-born, then He wouldn’t be the Son of God.

“Luke introduces that right from the start and his gospel, to get us used to that idea; fully God, fully man, united in one person.”

 

While the virgin birth of Jesus may not have been the main focus of the gospel writers, this does not diminish its miraculous power or its importance in Christian theology.

 

Ask the Professor: On the third Thursday of every month, Connecting Faith on Faith Radio invites Bible professors from the University of Northwestern into the studio and open the phone lines for your questions on the Bible, faith, and the church. Call in during the live show, or submit your questions via email on Connecting Faith’s show page.

 

 

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