The question has come up whether Jesus was complete when He entered Mary’s womb (which would make Mary a surrogate mother) or whether God joined with Mary’s chromosomes in order to fashion Jesus–just as every baby is fashioned. While both sides have good arguments, I would like to explore one that seems stronger than the other.
Let’s string some pearls:
Luke 1:31 “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the set time had fully come [in the fullness of time], God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
My son-in-law postulated that a woman’s egg was still sinless until it mated with the male counterpart, thus, David’s statement in Psalm 51, “Surely I as sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” David, along with all mankind (both male and female), was conceived in sin. In Mary’s case, her egg mated with the Holy Spirit, therefore begetting God in human form. The Greek meaning for the word, “conceive,” is…”to conceive.” But, in Isaiah 7:14, we find the Hebrew term, “conceive,” as meaning…”to conceive.” It does add one more thought, and that is of a mental conception, as in original thought. It was something original!
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Philippians 2:5-7 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Now, before someone cries, “Heresy!” let us remember that all things in the timeline happen outside the timeline, as well. For instance, Christ died for us both BEFORE time,
Revelation 13:8b …the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
and IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME. Likewise, Jesus was “brought forth” before time began, but also had a place in our history some 2000 years ago. Do I pretend to understand it? Absolutely NOT!I have faith in our LORD that His plan is perfect and complete, and it is well above my purview. I accept it on faith because of the passage in Hebrews.
- He shared in our humanity (2:14);
- He was made like us, fully human in every way (2:16);
- He Himself suffered when He was tempted (2:18).
Now Hebrews 4:15-16 comes fully into play:
- He EMPATHIZES with us (not just feeling pity for us, but actually feeling what we feel because He has experienced what we experience-yet, without sin-v15);
- We can approach God with confidence (v16);
- We will receive mercy and grace as needed (Jesus lives as our Intercessor – see 7:25 -and Advocate – see 1 John 2:1).
Is it necessary that Jesus have human chromosomes? It stands to reason so that He could share in humanity in every way: from pain to joy (each time He healed), from dismay to thrill (when the disciples finally understood), from fear to peace (in the garden), and from temptation to victory (at His desert experience and upon His death). The point is identification. God created all emotions, but God, through Jesus, identified with us on a level that we need. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence…
To me, the whole subject boils down to Gabriel’s statement, “You will conceive…” He didn’t say, “You will be implanted…”
An interesting passage, which takes on new meaning under these new parameters, is Proverbs 8:22-31:
Proverbs 8:22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
 I was appointed from eternity,
from the beginning, before the world began.
 When there were no oceans, I was given birth,
when there were no springs abounding with water;
 before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
 before he made the earth or its fields
or any of the dust of the world.
 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
 Then I was the craftsman at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
 rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.
Wisdom is usually a personification in Proverbs, but 1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us that Jesus became for us “wisdom from God.“ If He is the “wisdom” in this passage, He brings new meaning to the words used. As I looked up each word, I found that the setting can be taken as a ceremony where Jesus is anointed and appointed (the Hebrew meanings of “possessed me,” “set up,” “brought forth”) to be the sin sacrifice and then presented as an offering (a libation) to be poured out for us. In light of Revelation 13:8, “...the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world,” we see that God’s first act IN creation was presenting the Light of the World:
Genesis 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
In the words of my daughter, “That Light is Jesus Christ,” Who was presented to the physical universe in human form, was the Creator, and is the One who holds all things together:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.
 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
Hebrews 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  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.
Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Did “the One and only Son (John 3:16)” who was “begotten by the Father (John 1:14),” indeed, mix with Mary’s chromosomes to fashion God in a human body? How? When? Good questions. Concerning the “when,” we must remember that everything outside of time has a place in the timeline. Christ died outside of time, but we also know that “in the fullness of time, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship (Galatians 4:4).” Paul calls Jesus “The firstborn over all creation (Colossians 1:15).”
So, was Jesus fully human? I believe He had to be in order to complete the task given Him. Is it worth withdrawing fellowship with those who don’t believe as I do? No. In fact, we should be focusing on the PURPOSE of the Incarnation i.e. the CROSS (that’s for another article). Do I understand the nuances of the Incarnation? No, but I do understand enough to know that it was something special and new:
Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
God was providing us a way back to Him through Jesus our Savior and He is using His natural design to do it. Now, THAT’S worth celebrating!