Where did the idea of Jesus' being born a virgin come from?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: I know you Christians say Jesus was born of a virgin, but where did that idea come from? Even if I believed in God (which I'm not sure I do), I'd have a hard time believing this. -- K.M.T.

A: Only one person knew for certain that Mary was a virgin -- and that was Mary herself. Later Joseph (to whom she was betrothed) came to know it also, through an angel. The angel told him, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:20).

Mary and Joseph were just as familiar with the facts of life as we are. But they also realized something was happening that had never happened before: God alone would be the child's father. In other words, this child would be absolutely unique -- not only because He would be born of a virgin, but because He would be both fully man and fully God. God was coming to live among us!

Why did He come? The Bible says Jesus came into the world for one reason: to provide the way for us to be cleansed of our sins and become part of God's family forever. He didn't come just to show us how to live; He came to offer us the greatest gift we could ever receive -- the gift of salvation. And this gift can be ours, as we turn to Christ and by faith receive Him into our hearts and lives.


As this Christmas approaches, I pray you will look at Jesus -- as He is revealed in the pages of the New Testament -- with an open heart and mind. When you do, you'll discover not only that God is real, but that He loves you and wants to transform your life.


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:




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