Which part of Jesus’ birth is most amazing to you?
I have two daughters and was honored to attend each of their first births. Watching my babies give birth to babies was an amazing privilege but pales in comparison to watching them be mothers. Mothering is not for the faint of heart, and I’ve often pondered the impossible task Jesus’ mother faced. So much intrigues me about her conception, Jesus’ birth, and her life as a mom.
What was it like to create in her womb the God who created her? Was her birth experience more or less terrifying, knowing the Son she bore was God’s own? Instructed to call Him, Immanuel—God with us—how did she parent God?
I’ve heard folks say it would have been easier to believe in God if they’d lived while Jesus walked the earth. I’m not so sure. While we have the benefit of hindsight, Isaiah’s conservative theology might have struggled to embrace God’s Messiah. Even Mary, who lived moment-by-moment with a divine toddler, teenager, and adult Son, remained as confused as His other disciples until the Spirit was given at Pentecost (Mark 3:20-21). Seeing doesn’t always make believing easier. Jesus’ brothers refused to believe He was the Christ (John 7:3-5) until after His death and resurrection. Only then did James believe his Brother had been God With Us, the perfect representation of the Father’s glory.
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
I think many in Jesus’ day discounted Him as the Messiah because He was too common. He wasn’t spectacular in any way.
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
What if we—the Ones to whom the indwelling Holy Spirit is available—actually have the easier path to faith. Immanuel dwells through His Spirit in all who believe in Jesus Christ. Perhaps Isaiah would envy us.
[Jesus said to His disciples,] “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”