Featured in the December, 2005 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
Liberals have questioned Christ’s virgin birth because it is narrated only in the Gospel of Luke.
But Luke was a medical doctor! It is not the Gospel writer Mark, nor the tax-collector Matthew, nor
the fisherman John who gives the history of Mary and Christ’s birth, but it is Luke.
Mark assumes the birth of Christ, Matthew tells about Joseph and the Wise Men, and John gives the
theological interpretation – “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14); but it is “our dear friend, Luke, the doctor”
(Colossians 4:14) who gives the historical record of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
Luke does not go about his writing as a gatherer of legends and folklore. He is explicit about his
scientific procedure saying that he gathered information from “eye-witnesses” (Luke 1:2) and goes on to say,
“therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to
me to write an orderly account” (Luke 1:3).
All of this so his readers may “know the certainty” ( Luke1:4) of these matters. Luke’s Gospel is not a
collection of fireside tales but a reporting of solid history as he gives the specific time of his record ( Luke 1:5; 2:1-2; 3:1,2).
Differently from the other Gospel writers, Luke, the physician, repeatedly gives special attention to
medical details. It is Luke only who records the proverb “Physician, heal yourself!” (Luke 4:23).
It is Doctor Luke alone who notices that the man was covered with leprosy” (Luke 5:12), and uses the technical
term for the paralytic (Luke 5:18). His precise description is that the “right hand was shriveled” (Luke 6:6); that the
afflicted boy was the “only child” (Luke 9:38), and carefully uses the technical term “dropsy” (Luke 14:2).
When Luke quotes Jesus saying, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich
man to enter the Kingdom of God” (Luke 18:25) it is the Greek word for a surgeon’s needle that he uses. And who
but Luke notices that it is the “right ear” (Luke 22:50) of Malchus that is cut off. Such medical observations
continue in the book of Acts which was also written by Luke.
It is this Luke, who was not only a historian but also a medical doctor trained in the worthy Greek tradition
that flourished since the time of Hippocrates, who gives us the historical account of the virgin birth of Jesus.
It is Luke, the physician, who states the fact that the angel Gabriel came “to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a
virgin” and indicates “the virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:26,27).
The angel greets Mary with the words, “The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28), but Mary is disturbed by all of this and
the angel says, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a
Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.”
Luke continues his historical narrative, quoting Mary, “‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a
virgin?” (Luke 1:34).
Luke indicates the angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
And if some freshman science student wonders how there can be a virgin birth, Luke is quick to inform every
critical mind that all science requires is an adequate cause for each event and states, “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
It is truly fascinating that God chooses for re-cording the virgin birth, not a tax collector or a
fisherman, but a man of science, a medical doctor.