Read - Genesis 1:1-2 Luke 1:31-34
Message - Alan Burke
Mary found favour in the eyes of the Lord, God conceived in her womb a son, who is Jesus (lit. ‘God Saves’). He is the Son of the Most High God and he has the throne of his father David, and he reigns over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Lk 1:31–33). On hearing this announced to her Mary had a simple question, one that is not of doubt, instead that simply wanted to know “How can this be for I am still a virgin” (34). Mary might have only been thirteen, fourteen at the most but she knew enough about how things worked to know how a child comes into this world. So her question was how can this be since she was betrothed and had not yet laid with her husband, it’s the obvious question, how? The question of Mary was a simple one, that is mirrored by many today, how can a woman who is a virgin become pregnant without natural reproduction? Well the answer is a simple one, it is by the power of God. The miracle of this birth was all because the power of God.
If we spent a moment to consider the greatness of God, the grandness of his creation, the scale, the size the glory, then it would be much easier for us to grasp this truth, we often limit God to by our own experiences and what is tangible to us, what is quantifiable in our experience. Scripture tells us that God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1), it was by his word that all that has been made has been made (Jn 1:3, 10). And God by power would conceive in the womb of Mary a son. This is what the angel Gabriel made it clear, that it would be was the creative work in her by the Holy Spirit (35). The same God who brought life out of nothing and created humans in his image from the dust of the ground, was to conceive a son in the womb of Mary.
The result would be a child, as God’s glorious presence through the Spirit overshadowed Mary and this child was the Holy Son of God. Just as the Holy Spirit had been actively involved in the beginning at creation (Gen 1:2), the Holy Spirit would be there to bring forth a new beginning, the second Adam, the true Adam who did what the first Adam failed to do and live a life of obedience to the Father. Jesus Christ took a human nature from Mary, and did it in such a way that Mary’s own sinfulness was not taken with it. Mary was but an instrument of the Holy Spirit to bring God in the flesh.
Remember the promise of salvation in Genesis 3:15, when God promises that one would crush the head of the serpent, the promise of the incarnation, the overcoming of Adam’s enemy the Devil. This was a divine necessity, without which there could be no salvation, as an act of infinite love and condescension, the Son of God became partaker of flesh and blood through the incarnation for since without the shedding of blood there is no removal of sins (Heb 9:22). Jesus took on humanity in order that through his own death he might destroy the one who has the power of death that is the Devil. Yet he was also fully God that he might sustain and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath that was placed upon him and that we deserve. Though the incarnation the only begotten Son of the Most High God came so that we might be reconciled to God in spite of our sin, so that we might be the recipients of God’s favour, through his glorious grace (Eph 1:6), his grace is that which is given to all believers not because we had done anything to deserve it, that we had earned it, not because we had any redeeming quality, but solely because of God’s grace through Christ Jesus.
Q 43 What is the preface to the ten commandments?
The preface to the ten commandments is in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Exod. 20:2)