Did Mary Remain a Virgin?
Pastor Jéan: Our next caller is Jason listening here in California. Jason, welcome to the program.
Jason: Yes, hello, hi. Thank you, Pastor, thanks for taking my phone call. I’ve been blessed with a family of non-believers so I try to answer their questions when they come. One question I had from my brother was if Jesus was born from a virgin. How was she married to Joseph? I couldn’t answer that question, without consummating their marriage.
Pastor Doug: Yes. It says in the Bible very specifically and Pastor Ross will look it up because I forget. I always get my Matthew stories of the birth and my Luke stories mixed up. It says very clearly that he accepted Mary as his wife but he did not know her and that's biblical terminology meaning intimate relations. He didn't-- not know her until after the child was born. You have that?
Pastor Jéan: Yes, Matthew 1:18. It says, “Now, the birth of Jesus was on this wise when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.”
Pastor Doug: Yes, but then he took her as his wife and he says he did not know her until after the child was born and that's further down I think in the same chapter. If they'll accept the Bible that's what it says.
Jason: Okay, but trying to convey that to a non-believer you’re being naive and this is something that is usually done pretty early on in a marriage. I didn’t have an answer. [laughs]
Pastor Doug: It says that when she was found to be with child they weren't married yet they were engaged. It says they were betrothed then that means that they had made a covenant. They were engaged to get married but the ceremony had not happened yet. She was found to be pregnant before they had the marriage ceremony. In the Jewish culture as with our culture, they were not to consummate the marriage until after the ceremony. It's just like Jacob, he was actually engaged to Rachel for seven years before they had the ceremony.
Pastor Jéan: Well, here's the verse that you’re referring to specifically, it's Matthew 1:25, well let me start in verse 24, it says, “Then Joseph been raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him and he took unto him his wife, knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son and he called his name Jesus.” That’s verse 25.
Pastor Doug: Yes, he went through the ceremony to save her face because if she came up having a baby and they weren't married yet it was going to ruin her reputation. As soon as it was discovered she was pregnant, he took her as his wife so that people wouldn't ask him any questions but he didn't know her intimately until sometime after Jesus was born.
Jason: Thank you so much, Pastor.