The divine mandate is that “at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses shall the matter be established” (Deuteronomy 19:15). It should not surprise us, therefore, that the unique birth of Jesus is explicitly recorded by two gospel writers—Matthew and Luke. Both contain the fundamental historical facts; each contains supplemental truths which are unique to his gospel. To do justice to each account, consideration will be given first Matthew’s account, then to Luke’s record. From Matthew’s gospel, let’s consider how the following things make Jesus’ birth unique and different from every other birth in human history.
His birth is unique because Jesus’ conception was a miracle. “ Now the birth of Jesus Christ 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. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:18-20). Since the Garden of Eden, babies have been conceived in the same way as described in Genesis 4:1–“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain.” Even conceptions which came out of due season—like Isaac’s (Genesis 21:1-2; Romans 4:19) and John the Baptist’s (Luke 1:7, 24)—still occurred according to the natural order of being begotten by a human father and being birthed by a child’s mother. But, not Jesus! His mother conceived while a virgin, before her marriage to Joseph was consummated. In fact, she remained a virgin until after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:25). The sons and daughters she gave birth to after Jesus (cf. Matthew 13:55-56) were not conceived miraculously.
Jesus’ birth is unique because of its purpose. Matthew declares: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (1:21). All children are special. “Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3). However, no other child in human history has ever been born for the purpose of saving humanity from its sins.
Even prior to His birth, it is abundantly clear that Jesus’ mission on earth was spiritual in nature, not physical. His very name—Jesus (“Jehovah is salvation”)—was designed to proclaim the spiritual focus and purpose of His life. At the beginning of His ministry, John the Baptist identifies Him as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Though the false doctrine of premillennialism contradicts this truth, it still remains a fact that NEVER in Jesus’ life was He on this earth to establish a worldly kingdom. He came to save His people from their sins by destroying the works of the devil (1 John 3:8)—i.e. the guilt and consequences of sin, and thus establish a spiritual kingdom (John 18:36).