The story of Jesus’ birth emphasizes that God’s deliverance comes upon the world in a very specific way, it means that God’s salvation comes to and through Israel … and it is God himself who comes. Or, as I say in EvTh:
The virgin conception means that Jesus was not simply a holy man whom God honored with divine status. It means Jesus was not a cosmic ghost disguised as a man dispensing philosophically savvy self-help advice to be true to ourselves. The virgin birth means that God’s deliverance comes through the people, the story, and the covenants of Israel.
Merry Christmas to you all and a proper place for Israel in your biblical theology in the new year!