Day 4 – Rumors about Birth
Jesus faced the shame of unfounded rumors about his birth. Joseph and Mary were not yet married when Jesus was conceived.
The supernatural, virgin birth of Christ by the Holy Spirit was misinterpreted at first by Joseph. “Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly” (Matthew 1:19).
Joseph didn’t want to shame Mary. But an angel corrected him and Joseph treated Mary honorably.
Nonetheless, how hard would it be for people to believe Mary when she tells them that God the Holy Spirit came upon her and she conceived?
This had never happened before. Anyone could count nine months. People could skeptically whisper, “They weren’t married when Mary got pregnant.”
Apparently rumors were still being circulated about Jesus’s birth more than 30 years after he born. As an adult, when Jesus claimed that God is his Father, the Pharisees took exception. “We are not illegitimate children. The only Father we have is God himself” (John 8:41).
They were inferring: “We’re not illegitimate. But you? We’ve heard the rumors about your birth.”
They were seeking to shame Jesus by questioning his parentage and thereby disqualifying his claim and convincing others to steer clear of him.
When we hear a rumor nowadays, typically the source is left vague. “They say that. . . .” Yet when you ask who “they” are, usually it’s vague or it’s a very small number.
Rumors are also designed to hurt. What is true is often twisted together with exaggerations and inaccuracies, making the facts difficult to sort out, and harm is done.
If someone says, “I heard a rumor that. . . .” Ask: Why are you telling me this? Where did you get this information? Have you gone directly to the source? Have you personally checked out all the facts? Can I quote you if I check this out?
Like feathers blowing around in the wind, Jesus couldn’t keep the rumors about his birth from circulating. He had to endure this stigma. But to him, it didn’t matter. He knew the truth.
Truth always outdoes and outlives rumor.
Action Step: Invite the Holy Spirit to keep in check your tongue and your ears.
This is God’s Word for you today,