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?"

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.

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