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17. Mary, mother of Jesus
17-1 Mary: Our Representative || 17-2 Mary’s Character: 17-2-1 The Loneliness Of Mary || 17-2-2 The Spiritual Ambition Of Mary || 17-2-3 Hannah And Mary || 17-2-4 A Bible Mind: Mary And The Magnificat || 17-2-5 The Faith Of Mary || 17-2-6 Mary And The Virgin Of Isaiah 7 || 17-2-7 The Humility Of Mary || 17-3 Mary In Crisis: 17-3-1 Mary’s Crisis Of Faith || 17-3-2 Mary And Jesus In The Temple || 17-3-3 Mary At Cana || 17-3-4 Mary And Her Other Children || 17-3-5 Mary In Mid-Life Crisis || 17-3-6 The Jesus-Mary Relationship || 17-4 Mary’s Victory: 17-4-1 Mary At The Cross || 17-4-2 The Influence Of Mary || 17-4-3 The Psychological Matrix Of Jesus

17-2-6 Mary And The Virgin Of Isaiah 7

So great is the depth of Mary’s perception that I am led to make the suggestion that she may have actually comprehended that Isaiah 7:14 required a virgin to be made pregnant by God, and she was anticipating this happening. I am led to this possibility by musing upon her question in Lk. 1:34: “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”. She had been told that she was to bear the Son of God, Messiah, but initially she is not told that this would be due to the Holy Spirit coming upon her. Her response is to ask how this will be possible, seeing she doesn’t know a man. Yet she was engaged to a man, and engagements in Galilee rarely lasted longer than a year. The obvious deduction for her would have been to think that when her and Joseph married, their child would be Messiah. So why does she ask how it can be, seeing she doesn’t know a man sexually? Is there not here the implication that she had picked up on the Angel’s allusion to Isaiah 7:14 and realized that it required a virgin to conceive in order to make the Messiah both Son of God and son of David through a woman? And so she asks how actually this is going to come about; as if to say ‘OK I understand it requires a virgin conception, but how physically is it going to work out?’. Most marriages were arranged marriages; she had been betrothed to Joseph, but was earnestly praying to be mother of Messiah, and yet she realized that it required a virgin conception. And yet soon, she would be married. She must have feared that her life was going to become just like that of any other woman. But now with ecstatic joy she realized that God had heard her, and intervened. She was to have a virgin conception before she got married to Joseph! It must have all seemed too wonderful to be true, and yet she believed. One can only be impressed at the speed and depth of her response to the Angel. The Lord’s same ability was surely at least partly inherited from His mother.