Friday, August 28, 2015

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This blog is all about the miraculous, virgin birth of Jesus Christ, and its implications for our lives today. As the Lord said through His prophet:

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which translated means, 'GOD WITH US.'" (Mt 1:23)

The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ Miraculous Birth of Jesus Why We No Longer Celebrate Christmas
Bearing Christ Within In What Year Was Jesus Born? On What Day Was Jesus Born?
The Son of Man

Attribution notice: Scripture quotation taken from the NASB.

Author's note:  You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Son of Man

One of the titles the Lord Jesus used to refer to Himself was "the Son of Man." In fact it was the title He most often used when referring to Himself. When you understand what that term means, regarding His humiliation and His exaltation, you will have a deeper appreciation for His use of it, and His teachings related to it. 

The Humiliation of Christ
First of all, the expression "Son of Man" simply means a human being. This expression is used 107 times in the Old Testament, usually to simply mean a man. Most of those occurrences are found in the book of Ezekiel, in which the Lord referred to the prophet as "son of man" 93 times.

As I said in my previous article, The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. Although He existed throughout eternity past with the Father as the Word of God, and the Word was God (Joh 1:1), when He was born as a baby, He took on humanity.  He was fully God. Yet while He never ceased to be fully God, He also became fully human when he was conceived in the virgin's womb. So lowly was He at His birth that He was even born in a stable and laid in a manger as a helpless baby.

From His birth to His death, He experienced humiliation. "He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him." (Jn 1:10-11, NIV). He was rejected by the synagogue in His own home town (Lk 4:28-30). He was shamefully accused by the religious leaders of being demon possessed, because He did miracles like casting demons out of men (Mk 3:22). His own brothers did not believe in Him (Jn 7:5), and His family even said at one point that He had gone mad (Mk 3:21). He experienced hunger and thirst, and He was tempted in every way just as we are, yet He was without sin (Heb 4:15). He washed His disciples feet (Jn 13:1-17), was betrayed by one of them, and was rejected by His people in favor of Barabbas, a well-known murderer (Mt 27:21). He was spat upon, insulted, beaten, and crucified naked on a cross.

As Isaiah the prophet wrote:

"He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him." (Is 53:3).

The apostle Paul said:

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Php 2:5-8)

We learn from this passage that the Lord existed in the form of God before He came  from heaven to earth. He had glory together with the Heavenly Father before the world was made (Joh 17:5). And yet He did not consider equality with God as something He needed to grasp. In other words, He didn't need to seize, retain, or hold onto His equality with God.

On the contrary, He emptied Himself. As I wrote in The Light and the Glory, this is called the "kenosis" (self-emptying) of Christ, in which He completely emptied Himself of His glory and the form of God, as well as His own will. In doing so, He became completely surrendered to the Father's will.

The apostle Paul said that Christ "took upon Himself the form of a bond-servant" (Phil 2:7). The word for "bond-servant" is "doulos", meaning a servant or slave.  This describes the character and purpose of His life. Christ came as a servant.  He did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.

We also learn from the Philippians passage that the Lord was "made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man" (Phil 2:7b,8). This speaks of His becoming fully human.  Therefore, by calling Himself "the Son of Man", Jesus was very humbly referring to Himself as a human.

He not only humbled Himself by becoming a man, but also "by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Phil 2:8). It was the Father's will that He should be God's Lamb, the perfect sacrifice for sinful mankind, and that is what He did for us through His atoning death on the cross. No greater love has any man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends! From His birth to His death, He was the most humble person the world has ever known.

The Exaltation of Christ
While most Old Testament references to the expression "son of man" simply mean a human, there are a few verses, in which it refers to one unique Man, who is unequaled. These verses are like rare gems hidden among all of those other common references, and they emphasize the Lord's precious role as the one and only Messiah. The key Scriptures are Ps 8:4; 80:17; 144:3; Heb 2:6; Dan 7:13-14.

David spoke of the Messiah when he said, "What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?" (Psa 8:4; cf., 144:3). We know this is a messianic passage, because the apostle Paul tells us so in Hebrews, when he states:

“But one has testified somewhere, saying, ‘What is man, that you remember him? Or the Son of Man, that you are concerned about Him? You have made Him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor, and have appointed Him over the works of your hands; you have put all things in subjection under His feet.’ For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him. But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” (Heb 2:6-9)

"Thou art worthy" by C.V. Lacroix
This passage speaks of the Son of Man being made lower than the angels for a little while, and later being crowned with glory and honor, being appointed Lord over all creation with everything in subjection under His feet.

The next key verse is in one of the psalms of Asaph, who said, "Let Your hand be upon the Man of Your right hand, Upon the Son of Man whom You made strong for Yourself." (Psa 80:17).  Who is this man at God's right hand? Who is worthy of such an exalted place of honor?  The psalmist tell us that He is the Son of Man, whom God has made strong for Himself.

The final and most important key verses about the Son of Man in the Old Testament are in the prophet Daniel. In order to fully appreciate these verses, you should read the entire seventh chapter of Daniel. But let's look at the key verses.

"I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed." (Dan 7:13-14)

In a night vision, the prophet Daniel saw One like a Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven.  This is what Jesus alluded to when He said, "...You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Mar 14:62b, NIV).  He said this during his mock trial before the Sanhedrin, in response to the high priest who was questioning Him, asking if He was the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One. He answered, "I AM" (Mar 14:62a).  And He described Himself sitting at the right hand of God, coming back again with the clouds of heaven. All those who knew their Bibles recognized this clearly as a reference to the Messiah, based on Daniel's prophecy.

In Matthew's gospel, we discover that during Jesus' trial, when He was asked this question, the high priest not only charged Him before the living God to say whether He was the Christ, but also to say if He was the Son of God.

"And the high priest said to Him, 'I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.' Jesus said to him, 'You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.'"  (Mat 26:63b-64)

So the Lord not only testified that He was the Christ, which is the Messiah, but He admitted to being the Son of God, when He said, "You have said it yourself."

Jesus also alluded to Daniel's prophecy of the Son of Man, when He spoke to His disciples about the signs of His coming before He returns. He said, "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”  (Mat 24:30; cf., Mk 13:26; Lk 21:27)

So this Daniel passage was the most important Old Testament prophecy that identifies the Son of Man as the Messiah. In his vision, in addition to seeing the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, Daniel watched as "He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him." This describes the Lord approaching the Ancient of Days and being presented before Him.

Daniel saw the exaltation of the Son of Man by the Ancient of Days. He said, "He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Dan 7:14). Just as He endured the greatest humiliation any man has ever known, He experienced the highest exaltation that anyone has ever been given. And it was not merely exaltation by men, but by God Himself.

The Ancient of Days is God the Father, as Daniel described Him later in the seventh chapter with these words:

"I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened."  (Dan 7:9-10).

Daniel described the Father by saying, "His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him." And according to the apostle Paul, the Son is the radiance of God's glory, the exact representation of His nature (Heb 1:3). So it's no wonder that in Revelation, the apostle John described the Son of Man in terms very similar to those used by Daniel to describe the Ancient of Days. John wrote:

"Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw One like a Son of Man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength." (Rev 1:12-16)

This passage is one of the 88 times in the New Testament in which the term "the Son of Man" is used, most of which are in the gospels, since it was the Lord's favorite title for Himself. This passage in Revelation is very similar to Daniel's prophecy of the Son of Man. One thing it shows us is that the exalted Lord Jesus is still One like a Son of Man. As amazing as it is to realize that Jesus never ceased to be God at any point in His humiliation, the fact that He still retains His humanity in glory is even more amazing. Although He is so highly exalted, He will never cease to be a man. He is the one and only God-Man and shall be so forever in eternity. The glorious scene that Daniel witnessed prophetically in his night vision has now become a permanent reality.

At that moment, in the sight of the holy multitude, the Son of Man was exalted above the dignity of all heavenly creatures, as Christ in His deity and humanity went up to take His rightful place. There He surpasses the ranks of angels and archangels, and none of the heavenly beings is His equal. The glorious God-Man sits with the eternal Father, where His humanity that was joined to Him as the Son of Man is now inseparably connected with Him on the throne of His glory forever.

Paul said the Father has "raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms" (Eph 1:20, NIV).  After He rose from the dead, victorious over sin and death, He passed through the heavens and "sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb 12:2; c.f., Heb 8:1; 10:12; Rom 8:34; Rev 3:21). One day every person will have the opportunity to see Him there, because Jesus said, "you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power" (Mt 26:64). Every person who has ever been born will one day stand before Him in judgment, and we will all give an account for the deeds done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Cor 5:10).

As Handel wrote in his famous Messiah chorus:

And He shall reign forever and ever

King of kings forever and ever.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
And Lord of lords forever and ever
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

And He shall reign forever and ever

Forever and ever and ever and ever
(King of kings and Lord of lords)

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Putting it All Together
Therefore, we learn from these key verses in the Bible that the expression Son of Man was both a very humble term that spoke of the humanity of Jesus, and a very majestic title that identified Him as the Christ or Messiah. It speaks of His humiliation to the lowest place, and His exaltation to the very highest place of honor, glory, and power at the right hand of God. As Paul said in his epistle to the Philippians:

"For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Php 2:9-11)

Have you called upon the name above all names, the name of Jesus? Have you bowed on your knees before Him and repented of your sin, asking Him to forgive you? He desires a relationship with you, but you must invite Him into your heart to be your Lord and Savior.

He is the most humble man that ever walked the earth, and yet the most awesome, most majestic, most highly exalted Man the universe has ever known. Angels bow before Him. Heaven and earth adore Him. Demons shudder at the mention of His name and obey His every word.  He is Lord of all, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Most other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted. "Thou are worthy" illustration by my seventeen-year old daughter C.V. Lacroix. You can find more of her lovely artwork at A Brush with Life.

Author's note: Also see The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, The Light and the Glory, Miraculous Birth of Jesus, Is Jesus God?, The Judgment Seat of Christ, and The Secret Kingdom, as well as the other articles on the Home Page of this blog. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ

Although the virgin birth of Jesus is a biblical doctrine that has been held by His followers since the first century, and established formally as part of the Apostles' Creed since the fourth century, it has been one of the most controversial topics of the past hundred and twenty years or so. It has also been widely misunderstood by many, and has caused some to stumble.  But you need not stumble over this or debate it.  It's supernatural, and cannot be understood with your natural, rational mind like you would understand a scientific explanation of how the human heart beats.

As the apostle Paul said, "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." (1Co 2:14)

Therefore, I would first like to present to you the Scriptural evidence or record, followed by my explanation of how it happened. However, before you read any further, I suggest you stop and pray, asking God to show you the whole truth and nothing but the Truth.  Humble yourself and acknowledge that you cannot understand this, except by the Spirit of God, who is the One who caused this supernatural event to occur.

Scriptural Evidence
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, 'Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.' But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.' Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I am a virgin?' The angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.' And Mary said, 'Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her." (Luk 1:26-38)

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.' Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which translated means, 'GOD WITH US.' And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus." (Mat 1:18-25)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men." (Joh 1:1-4)

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, 'This was He of whom I said, "He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me."'"  (Joh 1:12-15)

"No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man." (Joh 3:13)

"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." (Joh 3:17)

"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day." (Joh 6:38-39)

They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven'?" (Joh 6:42)

Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me." (Joh 7:28-29)

"Jesus answered and said to them, 'Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.'" (Joh 8:14)

"And He was saying to them, 'You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.'" (Joh 8:23-24)

"Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.'" (Joh 8:58)

"For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." (Joh 10:17-18)

“For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father."  (Joh 16:27-28)

Jesus prayed to the Father, “They knew with certainty that I came from You and they believed that You sent Me.” (Jn 17:8b)

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Php 2:5-8)

When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, (Luk 3:23)

The Birth of Christ Prophesied in Advance
Just as the prophet Isaiah accurately prophesied many other things about the life of Jesus Christ, including his crucifixion, death, and resurrection (Is 53), he also prophesied the virgin birth of our Lord seven hundred years in advance.

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” (Isa 7:14)

The virgin's Son would be called Immanuel, which when translated, means "God with us."

Now here is the description Isaiah gave of this male child, called Immanuel, who would be born of a virgin:

"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this."  (Isa 9:6-7)

The virgin's Son would be called "Mighty God," which is "El Gibor" in Hebrew.  The word "El" literally means God. This name, El Gibor, may also be translated, "God-man," "Mighty Man of war," or "Mighty Warrior."  I like all of them, and I think they all describe Jesus well.  According to Isaiah, He would also be called "Eternal Father," and He shall reign on David's throne forever and ever.  The only Person who could be called "God with us," "Mighty God," "God-man," and "Eternal Father," and who could reign forever would have to be God Himself. And that is exactly who the virgin's Son, Jesus Christ is. He is God.

How it Happened
Now I would like to explain how it happened, not scientifically, but supernaturally, based on Scripture.

He existed eternally in the form of God before He was born, and was not created. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. Therefore, the very human life of Christ in the womb came into existence through the Life in Him.

He had the power to empty Himself when He left heaven, and to take up His human life on earth, then to lay it down at the cross, and take it up again at His resurrection.  He did all of this on His own initiative, because God sent Him from heaven to earth. The zeal of the LORD of hosts accomplished this.

Just as His own children are not born (again spiritually) of blood, nor the will of the flesh, not the will of man, but of God, likewise, Jesus was born physically not of the will of the flesh, not the will of man, but of God.

The Child born to Mary was not of her own doing or Joseph’s doing. Mary was a pure virgin, who had found favor with God. Although it was supposed that her holy Child was the son of Joseph, His Father was God in heaven.  He was not of this world.  He came from above at God's command, and He knew where He came from.

He came down (descended) from heaven into Mary’s womb. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary, and the power of the Most High overshadowed her.  The Child who was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit. Her part was only to conceive Him in her womb by the Holy Spirit, and bear a Son. 

He had the power to take on any form He chose, so He took the form of a bond-servant. When He materialized as a tiny embryo in Mary's womb, He was made in the likeness of men. He was also found in appearance as a man. When they found Him at His birth, he appeared as a male child.  The Word of God became flesh.  God became flesh.

Joseph kept Mary a virgin until she gave birth to a Son, whose name was Jesus. He is called Immanuel, which means “God with us.”  Jesus is God with us, our Savior.

Rejecting Blasphemous Heresies
Now that I have explained what did happen, I would like to explain what did not happen.  There was absolutely no sexual intercourse involved.

The Scripture explicitly says that once the angel Gabriel had delivered to Mary the message that she would conceive, and had left her, she went to stay with her cousin, Elizabeth.  "Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!'" (Luk 1:39-42). 

She arose and went in a hurry to Elizabeth, not allowing any time for human intervention. When she arrived and greeted Elizabeth, she had already conceived, because John the Baptist leaped in the womb of Elizabeth, and she told Mary that the fruit of her womb was blessed. Although she was still a virgin when she arrived at the home of Zacharias and Elizabeth, she had the holy Child Jesus in her womb.  Therefore, no human intercourse occurred, just as the Scripture explicitly says she remained a virgin until she gave birth to Jesus (Mt 1:25).

There is yet further evidence to confirm that Mary went to the home of Elizabeth immediately after the angel Gabriel told her she would conceive a child.  Gabriel had told Mary that Elizabeth, who had been barren, was now in her sixth month of pregnancy (Lk 1:36).  And Mary stayed with Elizabeth for a period of about three months (Lk 1:56).  After Mary left, Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist (Lk 1:57).  Elizabeth's six months of pregnancy that occurred prior to Mary's visit, when added to the approximately three months that occurred during her visit, spanned the total nine months of her pregnancy.  Therefore, this serves to confirm what the Scripture says that she was a virgin when she conceived the Lord Jesus.

Moreover, it would be blasphemous to assume that Mary engaged in any kind of sexual intercourse in a spiritual sense.  Nothing of that sort happened, because the Scripture says Gabriel told her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God." (Lk 1:35).  There was nothing sexual about that, since her genital organs were not involved.  The first Adam was formed from the dust of the earth and God breathed life into His nostrils, so that he became a living being, without any human intercourse. Likewise, there was no sexual intercourse involved in the conception of Christ, the second Adam.  Rather Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, Who is holy, and the egg inside her womb was fertilized supernaturally in a holy manner.

Had the Lord been conceived in the natural way, He would have the DNA of both Mary and Joseph, and He would be the son of Joseph.  But as it was, He had only Mary's human genes, and He is the Son of God.  He was from His Father in heaven, Who sent Him.

This matter of His DNA has been confirmed by the late archeologist, Ron Wyatt, who discovered the ark of the covenant in a cave inside the hill called Golgotha.  It was directly beneath the cross holes he discovered atop the hill, which he believed was where the cross of Christ had been inserted.  He discovered a crack at the cross hole that ran down the side of the rocky hill, which may have been caused by the earthquake that occurred when Jesus gave up His Spirit.  Ron found a pool of dried blood on top of the lid that covered the ark of the covenant that had been hidden in a cave inside that hill for centuries.  He took samples of the blood and had it reconstituted in a reliable, professional lab, where it was tested.  As I have written about in my article, Ark of the Covenant Found - Part 1, the lab said it was very old human blood, but it only contained 24 chromosomes, rather than 46.  There were 23 from the mother and one Y chromosome. It only had Mary’s chromosomes, since there was no man involved in His conception, and the one Y chromosome from Yahweh!

What About You?
I hope this has helped to clarify the virgin birth of Jesus Christ for anyone who is confused about it or doubts it.  Don't try to figure it out or understand how He could have materialized inside of Mary's womb. Just believe it.  The Word of God said it, so it's true.  That settles it! Stop doubting and believe.

Jesus Himself said that He came down from heaven and that He is God's Son.  You must believe it.  "And He was saying to them, 'You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.'" (Joh 8:23-24). 

He is unique in that He is the only Person ever born this way.  And He wants you to be born from above also.  It is not enough to be born of the flesh, you must be born again of the Spirit.

Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (Joh 3:3)

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (Joh 3:5-8)

Have you been born again? If not, you must be, in order to see the kingdom of God. You cannot be saved any other way.  I want to share with you (at the end of this blog) how to be born again and know the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God with us, and whose name means Savior.

So why do people doubt the virgin birth of Jesus? It's because it is the truth, and the devil has whispered lies to them that this doctrine is not true.  Jesus said, "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God." (Joh 8:45-47).

If you are not of God, you will not hear these words of God about the virgin birth of Christ.  But if you are of God, you will hear the words of God.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.  Repent of your sin and unbelief, believe on Jesus Christ, and be saved.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: Also see Miraculous Birth of Jesus, Is Jesus God?, The Son of Man, The Scripture Must Be Fulfilled, and The Bible is the Word of God, as well as the other articles on the Home Page of this blog. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Miraculous Birth of Jesus

Maybe you are facing some insurmountable, impossibility and you wonder how you can carry out your mission in those circumstances.  Maybe you feel like your life is too insignificant and unproductive for God to use.  Let’s look at how God brought His own Son into the world in human form, and subsequently the church.

Genesis 25:
Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham became the father of Isaac; and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger."  (Gen 25:19-23)

Observations from reading Genesis 25:
  • Rebekkah became pregnant in answer to her husband Isaac’s prayers, even though she was barren.  There were many barren women in the Bible and God is the one who opened their wombs.  He also closes wombs, as in the case of David’s wife Michael, who never had children until the day she died. 
  • Not only did Rebekkah become pregnant, but she was carrying two nations inside of her!  That’s pretty remarkable for a woman who was barren.  These two babies inside of her would become the nation of Israel and the Arabic nation of people.  Only God could do such an amazing miracle!  They jostled each other in the womb and think of all the trouble in the world today because of the enmity between these two nations.
  • But that’s not all.  Isaac’s mother was barren also.  Sarah did not have any children until her old age by a miracle of God.  She conceived of Isaac when she was in her 90’s, which is truly a medical wonder. 
  • Jacob had both a barren mother and a barren grandmother!
  • All this so that God could have a people for Himself.
Genesis 30:
Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die."  (Gen 30:1)

Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb. So she conceived and bore a son and said, "God has taken away my reproach." She named him Joseph, saying, "May the LORD give me another son."  (Gen 30:22-24)

Observations from reading Genesis 30:
  • One of Jacob’s two wives, Rachel, was also barren. 
  • Rachel cried out to God for children whe she realized she was barren.
  • God opened her womb and she conceived.
  • She gave birth to Joseph.
  • Joseph grew up to be a type of Christ who saved all of his brothers, literally the entire nation of Israel, from extinction during famine.

Matthew 1:
“The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab), Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth), and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.” (Mat 1:1-6)

Observations from reading Matthew 1:
  • We know that Rahab, a harlot from Jericho, was the mother of Boaz.  She was not a Jew.  But she put her faith in the God of Israel and acted on her faith by hiding the Israelites who came to spy out Jericho before attacking and destroying the city where she lived.  “However, Rahab the harlot and her father's household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.” (Jos 6:25)
  • Of Rahab, the New Testament Scriptures teach us she was saved by faith.  “By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.” (Heb 11:31).  “In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?” (Jam 2:25)
  • Although the Israelites destroyed Jericho, they spared Rahab, because of her faith.  That was a miracle, because if it had not been for her faith, she would have been destroyed along with all the others.  But God saved her, and even blessed her by enabling her to become the mother of Boaz, the great grandfather of King David! 
  • Rahab’s life is a story of mercy, saving grace, and faith in God.  And the Lord gave her a prominent place in the family line of Jesus the Messiah.
  • Similarly, the wife of Rahab’s son, Boaz was Ruth, a Moabitess, not a Jew.  She refused to stay in her homeland of Moab with her parents, when her mother-in-law, Naomi returned to Bethlehem. She refused to return to her people and her gods, but put her faith in the God of Israel instead. She told Naomi, “Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” (Rth 1:16). 
  • The Lord blessed this Moabitess widow for her faith.  And He gave her the honor of becoming the mother of Obed. Her child, Obed, would grow up to become the grandfather of a king – none other than Israel’s King David, a man after God’s own heart.  And she, who had suffered such misfortune in the loss of her first husband, was privileged to enter into the royal family line and give birth to a child who would become an ancestor of the Son of David, Jesus the Messiah!  It’s a miracle how the Lord took Ruth from such a fragile situation as a widow in a foreign land, and connected her in marriage with Boaz, the son of a harlot that had become a woman of God, and how the Lord brought forth from their union the child Obed in the little town of Bethlehem.

Putting it All Together
  • When we survey these wonderful things, we find that in order for the nation of Israel to come into existence as we know it today, a series of impossibilities needed to occur for a little baby named Jacob:
  1. Jacob’s barren grandmother Sarah needed to conceive and give birth in her 90’s to his father Isaac.
  2. His barren mother Rebekkah needed to conceive and give birth to him.
  3. In spite of being born second in a pair of twins, he would still need to receive the blessing of the firstborn and his brother would need to serve him.
  4. Because his brother wanted to kill him for “stealing” the birthright, he had to survive the very real threat of murder.
  • An even greater miracle had to happen for Joseph to be born, so that he could fulfill God’s purpose for his life in saving the nation of Israel:
  1. Joseph’s mother Rachel, his grandmother Rebekkah, and his great grandmother Sarah were all barren women!!!  The odds of him ever being born are astronomical.
  2. He had to survive the threat of murder from his own brothers and eventual exile as well as imprisonment.
  3. If it were not for his life, the entire nation of Israel may have perished in a 7-year famine.
  • Now when we consider that Jesus was a descendant of Jacob, we know God brought about this series of miracles not just for the sake of creating a Jewish nation that He could call His own.
  • God also wanted Gentiles to become His adopted children, too.  That could only happen through Jesus.  In fact, there were two Gentile women in the family line of Jesus – Rahab and Ruth.
  • In order for Jesus to complete His mission on the cross to bring down the dividing wall separating Jews and Gentiles from God, a number of miracles had to occur.  But one related to his conception was that Jesus needed to be born of a young virgin who had never known a man.  The Holy Spirit supernaturally caused her to conceive of him in her womb.
  • Again when we put all of this together, we realize that a number of impossibilities needed to happen in order for Jesus to redeem the lost whom He was sent to save:
  1. Sarah’s barren womb had to be opened to conceive of Isaac
  2. Rebekkah’s barren womb needed to be opened to conceive of Jacob.
  3. Rachel’s barren womb had to be opened to conceive of Joseph.
  4. The harlotrous life of Rahab, a Gentile targeted for destruction, had to be saved, so that her womb could conceive of Boaz.
  5. The childless womb of Ruth the Moabitess widow had to be redeemed by Boaz to conceive of Obed.
  6. Mary’s virgin womb needed to be fertilized by the Holy Spirit to conceive of Jesus.
  • Considering all this, it’s truly a wonder Jesus was ever born.
  • Just consider all the people in such fragile situations who were so hopeless and helpless on their own, whom the Lord used in His Master plan to bring forth Jesus the Messiah into the world.
  • God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.
  • God could have simply prearranged it so that neither Sarah, Rebekkah, nor Rachel were barren.  He could have allowed Rahab the harlot to be destroyed at Jericho, and used a Jewish woman, instead of her, in the family line of Christ.  He could have prearranged to have Boaz marry a Jewish virgin – rather than a Gentile widow -- to bear the grandfather of King David, ancestor of Christ. 
  • But he chose to work through such impossible circumstances, so that he could be glorified, just as he did when he allowed Lazarus to die, rather than heal him, so that he could raise him from the dead. 
My former profession was project management, so I like to look at things as though they were a project. If the birth of Messiah into the world were a project being conducted by a human being, here is how it would be done.  The project manager would take into consideration the final deliverable, the specifications and the deadline when the project was due.  A Jewish male, who would save the world and become king, must be born in the fullness of time by set date.

Then he would determine the tasks necessary to produce the required outcome or deliverable.  He would then select project members to perform specific tasks.  He would need many women, who would give birth to children that would become ancestors of the Messiah.  These would all need to be devout, Jewish women, who were fertile.  The project manager would certainly not select any women who were barren, childless widows, Gentiles, prostitutes, or any others he considered project risks or "under producers."  He would not select anyone he knew present a significant risk to the successful completion of the project.

Man looks at things from the perspective of probability and risk, because he doesn't know the future.  If one option available to him has a 1% chance of success and the other has a 99% chance of success, he will select the one with 99%.

However, God doesn't do that.  In fact, God prefers to work with the option that has a 1% chance of success.  Better yet, He prefers to work with the option that has a 100% probability of failing, unless a miracle happens.  It would be below His ability to do otherwise.

It's just like a professional craftsman on earth.  Take a wood worker for example.  If he is skilled with doing intricate woodwork with beautiful carvings, he would not be content to work at a sawmill, making trees into planks.  Simply cutting large pieces of wood into little ones would be below his skill level.  For God, it is below His skill level to work with situations that are easy or have a great probability for success based on their own merits.  He prefers to work with impossibilities.  The Bible is full of examples like this, many of which have been cited here in this blog.

The apostle Paul wrote: "For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God." (1Co 1:26-29)

It's like people who want to recycle glass.  They are looking for bottles, jars, and anything made of glass. You bring your used bottles to them, and receive cash back.  It's not a bad deal to exchange dirty old bottles for money.  Likewise, God is looking for impossibilities.  You bring them to Him in exchange for something that's of worth.  Except that what He produces with our impossible situations is not just some small coin.  Rather He makes something lovely, rare, beautiful, precious, of great significance, and eternal value.

God is looking for your impossibility today.  Will you bring it to Him in faith that He will make something beautiful with it?

Questions for meditation and reflection:
  • What does this teach us about the ways of God?
  • What are the implications of this for your life today?
  • What impossibilities had to be made possible so that you could be born into your earthly existence?
  • What impossibilities had to be made possible so that you could be born again by the spirit?
  • Is there some impossibility you need to overcome that only God can do?
  • Does God still open wombs in answer to prayer?
  • What are the implications for your life of God using in his grand plan a Gentile harlot who was targeted for destruction?
  • What are the implications for your life of God using a childless Gentile widow in His Master plan to bring forth the Savior of the world?
  • Could God use your insignificant and unproductive little life, once yielded completely to Him in faith, in order to rescue many people from eternal death and hell?
  • Why did Rachel pray, “Give me children, or else I die!”
  • What are the implications of these marvelous ways of God with regards to your having spiritual children, people that come to Christ because of your witness?
  • Could Rachel’s prayer, “Give me children, or else I die!” be a model for intercessor’s today, praying for spiritual children?
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I also recommend reading The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, In What Year Was Jesus Born?, The Son of Man, and On What Day Was Jesus Born?, as well as the other articles on the Home Page of this blog. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.  

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Why We No Longer Celebrate Christmas

If you are a disciple of Christ, questioning whether you should be celebrating Christmas, please allow me to share with you some biblical and historical facts to consider, which might help you make your decision.

I would like to share a letter I recently sent to a friend of ours, explaining why we no longer celebrate Christmas.  I hope this will also be encouraging to the growing number of people who are feeling the same conviction in their heart that we have. The letter states:

"I want to mention something to you, since you have mentioned Christmas a couple times to me.  It's not a problem with us if you want to celebrate Christmas, but we don't do so.  So you're probably shocked and wondering, 'Why not?!'  Well, in case you are thinking that, I want to share some of our reasons.

First of all, there is no place in Scripture where we are told explicitly, exactly what day Jesus was born on. And there is no place in Scripture where we are told to celebrate His birthday. Neither do we find any Scriptural record of the early Church celebrating His birthday. In fact, the date when the world celebrates Christmas is closer to the time when Jesus was conceived, rather than the time He was born. He was more likely born in the September-October time frame.

You can read more about this in my blog, called "The Birth of Jesus: On What Day was Jesus Born?" As you would have guessed, I have a blog about this topic, like so many other things the Lord has shown us from His Word.  We believe in living as Jesus did and according to His Word, not man-made traditions or worldly customs.

Christmas is really an invention of the Roman Catholic Church.  And it appears they chose it to fit into the time-frame of another festival that was celebrated by the pagans.  They did this with many of the pagan deities and festivals, replacing them with Christian themes and names.  All of the customs of Christmas pre-date (existed before) the birth of Jesus Christ. You can read more about that here.

Just like all the other man-made traditions of the Roman Catholic church, this one is not life giving.  We just don't see the life in it.  In fact, probably this holiday brings about more death than it does life.  It places so many burdens on people, even in the world, that they have to go shopping and buy all these gifts and they have to have a "merry Christmas".  Then if they don't have the money for the gifts or they cannot celebrate the holiday according to all the established customs, they feel very sad about it. It seems like this holiday drives people to copy the world and conform to the world, rather than be led by the Spirit and obey the Scriptures. This funny skit sums up what we mean.

To us, Christmas is just another day, and every day is alike.  Paul wrote, 'One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.' (Rom 14:5-6). Paul shows here that those with weak faith, who observe certain days, do so for the Lord. And those who regard every day alike do so for the Lord.

So I realize that was a bit of a long explanation, but we knew you would probably ask, so this is the best way we can explain it to you.  I hope you understand.

with love and blessings,
Len and Jennifer"

That's the end of the letter we wrote to our friend.  Actually she wasn't shocked like I assumed she may be.  Her reply said in part, "Yeah, I understand and I agree with this. It was cool though that you've written down for me these facts."

I'd also like to link to a similar letter that I just found online today by a sister in Christ, whom I have never heard of until now. It is excellent, and I highly recommend you read it.  She is an Ethiopian lady now living in the States, and it's amazing to me how the Lord led her to say very similar things to her friend that the Holy Spirit led me to say to ours.  I think it is just additional confirmation that the Spirit of the Lord has led us this way, in order to bring us into greater freedom.  And the Lord used her letter to encourage us.

Since this holiday is so popular with the world, even among those who don't know Christ personally, anyone who does not celebrate it seems rather strange.  But each person has to do for the Lord what they believe to be true and right. We're free in Christ to do so, and that's what we do.  Therefore, if you have faith to celebrate Christmas for the Lord, just allow others, who love the Lord, the same freedom not to celebrate it.

This is our personal decision as a family.  If you are considering whether you should celebrate Christmas, let me encourage you to read your Bible, learn the history behind the holiday, and seek the Lord in prayer about it.  He will be faithful to guide you. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will lead you into all Truth, and the Truth will set you free.  He whom the Son sets free is free indeed.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the links in the side bar. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." 
___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bearing Christ Within

Have you ever stopped to think about what it must have been like for Mary to carry Jesus Christ? She had the awesome privilege of carrying God’s Son, the Light of the World inside of her? She was also blessed to be able to carry the Lord of creation around in her arms as a baby. Imagine being able to pick up the Savior of the world and hold Him in your arms? It’s worth meditating on for a moment.

The Virgin Mary
This was no ordinary conception, since she was still a virgin. When the angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her she would conceive and bear a son whose name would be Jesus, she was surprised.

Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. (Luk 1:34-35).

The angel’s answer explains how this was possible. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that she would conceive. Notice he said the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her. This was how the Lord Jesus would enter her womb without any man’s involvement.

Who is the Mother of Jesus?
But now I’d like you to consider something that Jesus said when He was an adult, during His ministry.

On one occasion, while Jesus was speaking to a crowd, “One of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, 'Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.’ But He said, ‘On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.’” (Luk 11:27-28)

Do you see how Jesus responded when the woman tried to put the emphasis on Mary? He immediately contradicted her. He corrected her with the leading phrase, “On the contrary”. As Jesus saw it, those who are called blessed are those who hear God’s Word and do it.

Consider another occasion where Jesus spoke about His mother. "While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, 'Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.' But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, 'Who is My mother and who are My brothers?' And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, 'Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.' " (Mat 12:46-50)

Do you see how Jesus responded, when He was told His mother and brothers were outside? He said that whoever does the will of His Father in heaven is His mother and sister and brother.

Each and every person must have his or her own personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It goes beyond a human blood relationship, and it’s much deeper than that. When you repent of your sin and ask Jesus into your heart, you enter into a personal relationship with Him through His divine, sinless blood that was shed for you on the cross. When that happens, He takes up residence within you through the Holy Spirit. You become born all over again to a new life – a spiritual life that will never end.

And in this new life, you carry Jesus Christ around inside of you wherever you go. You don’t need to go to some building or shrine to visit Him. He’s right there inside of you. And the new heart He gives you will actually want to do the will of His Father in heaven. His Holy Spirit will enable you to do His will, whereas before it was impossible for you to do it.

Those who do the will of the heavenly Father like this can call Jesus their older brother. In fact, as Jesus put it, they are even His mothers – whether male or female -- in more than one way. First, a disciple of Christ is the mother of Jesus Christ in the sense that he or she carries Jesus within. When Jesus lives in your heart, you bear him inside your body wherever you go. The same awesome privilege that Mary had belongs to every true disciple of Christ. We get to bear Him inside of us.

Another aspect of being His mother is bringing Him forth into the world into the lives of others. If you know Jesus personally, and you do the will of His Father in heaven, you will want to see others come to know Him, too. You will pray for them and share the good news with them that they can know Him, too. As you do so, some will repent and invite Him into their hearts also. Another new birth takes place each time another person does so. So we have the privilege and honor of bringing forth Christ into the world!

Putting it All Together
So while Mary was the first person to be the mother of Jesus, she was not the only one to do so. Whenever anyone tried to put the focus on Mary, Jesus immediately corrected them. In fact, every true disciple is the mother of Jesus and bears Christ within. It all happens by the power of the Holy Spirit, just as it did for Mary.

If you already know Jesus, let me ask you a question: Do you go about life with the awareness that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, lives inside of you? This is the only way to live as a disciple of Christ. We need to have a constant awareness of His presence within us.

Let me ask you another question: Are you bringing forth Christ into the world through your prayers, words, and actions? Through your life, others should be coming to know Him. This is evidence that you are His mother. Every disciple should be multiplying and reproducing disciples by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Here's my final question to you, my friend: Are you focusing on Mary and putting emphasis on her? If so, you need to heed the words of Jesus. You need to realize that the one who is blessed among women and the one who is blessed among men is the person who hears God’s Word and observes it.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.