Dr. Dan Hayden •
Have you ever been asked to do something, but you had no idea how you were going to be to do it? Well, that’s what I’m going to talk about because our word for today is “how.”
Mary had just been told by the angel that she was going to conceive in her womb and bear a son. Now, this was a very confusing message for Mary. She was engaged, but not married, and she had never had sexual relations with a man. So, the natural question that came to her mind was, “How?”
In Luke 1:34 we read, “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (KJV). Notice Mary didn’t say, “Hey, no way! That’ll never happen! I know how these things work, and I don’t qualify. Impossible!” She didn’t contradict the angel. She simply questioned how it was going to happen.
The word how is an interrogative particle that questions the manner or means by which something will be done: In what way? – In what sense? – How? You see, Mary wasn’t naïve. She was probably quite young (perhaps even a teenager), but she was old enough to know that a woman cannot conceive a child without having sexual relations with a man. Now we know that rabbits can – it’s called parthenogenesis: virgin-born. Yet, the interesting thing about parthenogenesis in rabbits is that the offspring are always female. The reason, of course, is that females only have X-chromosomes, and it takes a Y-chromosome to make a male. Therefore, apart from male fertilization, female rabbits can over bear female offspring.
Well, the angel said to Mary, “…you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son… (NAS).” Now that’s amazing! And Mary asked, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Hey – the virgin birth was a genuine miracle, not a freak of science.