DID GOD “RAPE” MARY?
by Shawn Brasseaux
It is quite a crude question, a despicable concept, and a very irreverent statement. Demonstrating their absolute hatred for the Bible, some have mocked that Christians worship and serve a God who “raped” Mary in order to conceive the Lord Jesus! Bible critics need to be answered on this point. This article will prove such Bible scoffers as nothing more than fools. They have not really read the Bible at all, they know nothing about the Bible at all, and they need to shut their mouths before they spew any more of their ignorance! Before we slander the God whom we will stand before in judgment one day, before He hold us accountable for that reckless insult, we had better get into His Word, see what it actually says about this most important matter, and believe it!
A CONCEPTION AND BIRTH PROPHESIED CENTURIES BEFORE
For many centuries before the New Testament times, the nation Israel was expecting the arrival of the Messiah, the “Anointed One” who would rescue them from their Gentile oppressors, bring them into their Promised Land, and reign over them as their King. During this waiting period, there were preaching prophets and writing prophets of JEHOVAH God. Their sermons and writings are found in our Old Testament Scriptures. Led by the Holy Spirit, these men preached and wrote to Israel additional and assorted truths about this coming Anointed One (see 1 Peter 1:10-11). Every Sabbath day, the Jews went to the synagogues for their worship services. Part of these religious gatherings was reading portions of Scripture from Genesis through Deuteronomy (Moses’ writings) and other prophets (Joshua through Malachi). “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day” (Acts 15:21). And Acts 13:27: “For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.”
Some 1,500 years before Mary gave birth to Baby Jesus, the Jews had constantly read and heard of “the seed of the woman” of Genesis 3:15. A Man would be born one day to reverse the damage that Adam had done in following Satan in sin. Israel knew there was a spiritual battle, Satan fighting against God, and they knew their role in that conflict. They were to be the channel of blessing through whom God would be victorious on Earth (Genesis 12:1-3). The earthly kingdom that Adam lost would now be given to them (Israel), and Messiah would be their King in that paradise.
Nearly 600 years prior to Messiah’s birth, the Prophet Daniel provided the timeline in chapter 9 of his famous book: “ Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” The Jews read this for six centuries.
According to Daniel, the Messiah would be “cut off,” or die, 69 weeks of years (69 x 7 = 483 years) after Nehemiah’s generation would rebuild Jerusalem’s wall. That rebuilding occurred circa 450 B.C., and 483 years forward would be A.D. 33. Knowing that Messiah would be a priest (Zechariah 6:12-13), and that a Jewish priest had to be at least 30 years old to function in the ministry (Numbers 4:3), a believing Jew understood that Messiah’s birth coincided with the time of the virgin Mary’s birth of Jesus. (Calendar differences cause some offset of the years in our Gentile reckoning of time. In the Bible’s reckoning of time, Messiah’s birth was not so much as one day early or one day late!)
In fact, the Prophet Isaiah (7:14) could not have been clearer about Messiah’s mother and the unusual child she would bear: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (This was quoted in Matthew 1:20-25, which we will see shortly.) This was another validation that Jesus was Messiah… 700 B.C.
And Micah 5:2 pinpointed His birthplace 700 years beforehand: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (This was quoted in Matthew 2:1-6.) A third confirmation of Jesus’ Messiahship. Due to Joseph and Mary’s relocation for a census, that is exactly where Jesus was born—Bethlehem of Judaea!
The Jews knew there would be born in their midst a King of David’s lineage, One who would fulfill the above prophecies and many others. While most of Israel was in apostasy and spiritual blindness, there was a faithful remnant when we come to the “New Testament” Scriptures. Note some examples of this believing remnant in Israel: “them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38), “[those] waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25), and “[those who] waited for the kingdom of God” (Mark 15:43). These believing people had an eye to see, an ear to hear, and a heart to trust those Old Testament Messianic prophecies. They knew the time of Messiah’s arrival had finally come with Jesus!
THE FULFILLMENT OF THAT WHICH WAS PROPHESIED CENTURIES BEFORE
Joseph, after Mary’s conception of Jesus, hears the explanation from the angel of the Lord. This passage does not concern us here, so we will provide the verses but with little commentary.
We read in Matthew 1:18-25: “ 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 publick 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.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet [Isaiah 7:14, quoted above], saying,  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:  And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” All we want to note here is that while Joseph knew of the Old Testament prophecies of Messiah, he needed to be informed that his wife was the woman God had chosen to bring Messiah into the world.
Months before that passage in Matthew occurred, the Angel Gabriel had approached Mary. Note Luke 1:26-38: “ And in the sixth month [of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, verse 24 and verse 36] the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.  For with God nothing shall be impossible.  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”
We want to focus especially on verse 38: “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” The virgin Mary was very familiar with those Old Testament prophecies about Messiah, but to hear that she would play a vital role in fulfilling them was surely mind-blowing for her, to say the least! Upon learning the news that God had selected her to bear the physical body of His Son, Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, Mary was not resistant. At first, she was puzzled because God had chosen her of all people, a humble servant. Then, when the news sank in, Mary was thrilled. She was a willing participant in the conception of Jesus Christ. Why is this important to note?
As defined by The Oxford American Dictionary, “rape” is “the crime, committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with him without their consent and against their will, esp. by the threat or use of violence against them.” Was Mary “raped” by God? Of course not! You would have to willfully ignorant to reach such a dumb conclusion. God did not use Mary against her will. God never took away her free will. He did not threaten her or abuse her. Mary said, “Be it unto me according to thy word! I will gladly participate in what God is doing!” Before she even found herself pregnant, Mary was aware of what would happen. “And, behold, thou shalt [future tense!] conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1:31). Mary did not just wake up one morning and discover what God the Holy Ghost had done in her body. She knew beforehand what would occur and she did not object to it. It was not rape, dear friends.
Later, when Mary visited her cousin Elisabeth, Mary burst forth into song, quoting various Old Testament verses. Had God “raped” Mary, why was she so joyful? What rape victim happily sings after the crime occurs? We continue reading in Luke chapter 1: “ And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.  For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.  And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.  He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.  He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;  As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.”
Again, Mary was excited about being the mother of Jesus Christ’s physical body. She was not used of God against her will. Mary was a woman of faith. She believed her Old Testament Scriptures and she was exuberant that they were being fulfilled. JEHOVAH God had been so faithful to Israel in keeping His Word. Mary was most delighted in doing His work with Him!