Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18 NLT)
How do you understand this mystery?
How do you grasp this unfathomable conception of the Messiah in the womb of Mary?
Joseph and Mary had their own challenges of belief and understanding as they were caught up in this amazing and bewildering moment of God's grace.
How is a child conceived by the Holy Spirit?
How do you understand such a child?
How do you believe the impossible?
Now let me ask you an equally profound question: How do you grasp the conception of Jesus in you? Listen to these words of Scripture and be brought back to a miracle as wondrous as the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary!
Some people did accept him [Jesus]. They believed in him. He gave something to those people who believed. He gave them the right to become children of God. These children were not born like little babies are born. They were not born from the wish or plan of a mother and father. These children were born from God. (John 1:12-13 ERV)
Jesus replied, "The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven." (John 3:5 NLT)
The Lord and the Spirit are one and the same, and the Lord's Spirit sets us free. ... the Lord's Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18 CEV)
My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you .... (Galatians 4:19 NRS)
How do you grasp the conception of Jesus in you?To them God has chosen to make known ... the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him ... so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. (Colossians 1:27-28 TNIV)
It would be easy for us to find one of these verses and simply dismiss it as a private interpretation. The cumulative weight of them, however, is much like the appearance of the angel to Joseph and Mary. God wants Jesus to come alive in us. He wants us to become Jesus in our world and to our world. He promises to do this by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So this season, let's not just focus on the fact the God came into our world in Jesus Christ, conceived in the womb of Mary without the intervention of a human father. Let's also remember that God wants to come into our world in Jesus Christ through us — our words, our influence, our character, our actions, and our transformation. The same Spirit that conceived and empowered the Lord Jesus is also at work in us to conform us to Jesus and empower us to serve like Jesus.
Let's use this season to re-awaken our hearts to the wonders of God's grace — both in the birth of Jesus from the womb of Mary and in the birth of Jesus into our lives. Both of these miraculous realities are necessary to show God's grace to our world. And let's commit to live the life of Jesus before our unbelieving world so that the people around us can know of God's grace, mercy, and love.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" (Luke 1:13-14 NRS)
What amazes you most about the coming of Jesus to earth?
What makes it hard for you to believe that Jesus can come alive in your life?
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