Chapter 4 – Born of Woman
Jesus was born of Mary. His birth was unique, in that he was conceived by the Holy
Spirit, the power of God. Thus Jesus did not have a human father, but he was “the only
begotten son of God”. Because Mary had not had sexual intercourse with Joseph [the
man to whom she was engaged when she got pregnant by means of the Holy Spirit],
Mary was definitely a virgin. This circumstance had been prophesied in the Old
Testament Scripture, and was wonderfully fulfilled when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Understanding the truth about Jesus being “born of woman” will compel you to reject
false teaching on that topic and share the true Bible teaching with others.
This claim is further supported by the following Scripture references:
- born a human being (Lk 1:31)
- born son of God (Lk 1:35)
- born king of Jews (Jn 18:37)
- born of woman…under the law (Gal 4:4)
- born of a virgin (Mt 1:23, Is 7:14)
- the only-begotten son of God (Jn 3:16)
Each of these six Bible references is discussed in terms of relevant teaching Points
followed by So What implications, with respect to Jesus and then to his disciples.
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#1 & #2 – Luke 1:31, 35 – born a human being, son of God
The context of this verse is the angel Gabriel speaking to a young woman named Mary
who was engaged to be married. He is explaining the incredible miraculous events
surrounding the conception, birth and glorious future of her baby Jesus.
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named
Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of
David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Hail, O
favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and
considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to
her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you
will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He
will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give
to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for
ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel,
“How shall this be, since I have no husband?” 35 And
the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most
High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son
of God. 36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived
a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God
nothing will be impossible.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the
Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
- God sent Gabriel to explain this extraordinary situation to Mary; it would take an
angel of God sent directly from heaven to convince Mary that she would become
pregnant without having had sexual relations with her fiancée Joseph.
- Mary was a virgin, but she was not ‘immaculate’ [preserved from all stain of
‘original sin’] echo endnote('cxliv'); ?>. After the birth of Jesus, she began to have the pleasure of
intercourse with her husband (Mt 1:25). God would bless her and Joseph with at
least 6 children (Mt 13:55-56).
- The conception of Jesus was by the power of God’s Holy
Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power of God. This allows us to
understand that God is the Father, not the Holy Spirit echo endnote('cxlv'); ?>.
Mary was the young woman who was impregnated and bore
the child Jesus.
- Mary was specially chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus.
The choice was obviously fitting and not arbitrary. A key point was the faith of
Mary, as shown in her acceptance of and obedience to God’s message.
- This unique event is, from a human point of view, “super natural”; no human
male sperm was involved. Conception of a human being is often regarded as a
“miracle of life” and rightly attributed to God the Creator. From this point
forward, the development of the embryo and birth of a male child would be the
same as every other human being, as it was from the beginning with the children
of Adam and Eve. Jesus also inherited and was made of the same human flesh as
all men echo endnote('cxlvi'); ?>. The text of Hebrews 2:14 makes this point very clear.
- The text itself puts forth a list of the outcomes of the birth and life of Jesus. He
- “be great” in character, in deeds, in recognition,
- “the Son of the Most High”, a title of God (Gen 14:19),
- be given, by God, “the throne of his father echo endnote('cxlvii'); ?> David”,
- like king David, “reign over the house of Jacob echo endnote('cxlviii'); ?>”, and
- his reign will last forever – “there will be no end” to Jesus’ kingdom.
- Mary learned the very happy news that her elderly, barren, kinswoman, Elizabeth
(Lk 1:7) was pregnant with a son. This revelation would have helped Mary in her
belief that God was working an even greater miracle within herself.
- To accept the explanation of how Jesus was conceived is to acknowledge that this
is when Jesus came into existence like every other human being. It would be
misleading to say “as a human being”, since this could imply some other form of
existence prior to his birth by Mary. He was a mortal member of the condemned
race of Adam, of the same flesh and blood as Mary. Therefore, to think that Jesus
had some special nature such as ‘free life’ or ‘clean flesh’ echo endnote('cxlix'); ?> is incorrect.
- born of a normal woman
- born of an ‘immaculate’ Mary
- had a nature that could sin
- had a nature that could not sin
- had normal ‘flesh & blood’ body
- had ‘clean flesh’, not defiled in any way
- had free will, and feared God
- a God-man with God’s will, and no fear
- “Son of …” indicates a father who existed prior to the son. By His very nature,
God exists forever. He obviously can be the Father of Jesus. However, if Jesus
were part of an always-existing triune God, the father-son sequence disappears.
To argue this is a ‘mystery’ is simply avoiding the plain meaning of the termscl.
Like other humans, Jesus had a family tree. It is described in Matthew
chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3. Thus Jesus could trace his ancestry right
back to Adam and Eve. Luke 3:38 says “the son of Enos, the son of
Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God”. The last phrase is easily
understood as meaning Adam was “the son of God”, in the sense of
being created by God. However, it could also be interpreted as the final
entry in the list of “son of” entries of Jesus’ ancestors, i.e., Jesus is not
only a descendant from Adam downwards, he is also the literal
descendant of God!
- God would have a son. Of course this son will be great! He was a
normal human being in every respect, except God was his literal Father echo endnote('cli'); ?>. This is
the man God said He would raise up to deliver all other human beings from their
bondage to sin and ultimate perdition. What a plan!
The man Jesus – a human being in every respect
|Correct Teaching||Incorrect Teaching|
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#3 – John 18:37 – born king of Jews
The context of this verse is when Jesus has been brought to the Roman governor to hear
the accusations of the Jewish religious authorities. On hearing their charges, Pilate now
goes in to confront the accused:
33 Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, “Are you
the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or
did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own
nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this
world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my
kingship is not from the world.” 37 Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus
answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come
into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my
- The interchange in vv. 33-36 reads like real-life drama, which of course it was.
Pilate’s repeated question in v.37 led to Jesus declaring that he was born king.
- Being born king was a fact of lineage, since his ancestor David was king and of
the royal tribe of Judah (Gen 49:10).
- Being born king of the Jews was also a future role to be fulfilled literally in the
city of Zion, i.e., Jerusalem which is built on Mt. Zion (Ps 2:6-11).
- Jesus was born of a woman who came from the lineage of David. This is a very
important point, as verified in Mt 1:1, Lk 2:4, Rom 1:3 and Acts 2:30. Jesus is
that special descendant [offspring, seed] mentioned in God’s promises to David.
See the clarity and significance of that prophecy as recorded in 1 Chronicles
your days are fulfilled to go to be with your fathers, I will raise up
your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his
kingdom. 12 He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne for
ever. 13 I
will be his father, and he shall be my son; I will not take my
steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, 14 but I
will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom for ever and his throne shall
be established for ever.'”
- In Revelation 5:6, Jesus is presented as the sacrificial but conquering “Lamb of
God” who died and lives again forever. In v.5, the Lamb is introduced as “the
Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David”. The first phrase makes connection
with the kingly tribe; the second makes an interesting reversal: Jesus is the root,
not the branch. It is the explanation for how Jesus, clearly a descendant of David,
is really his Lord (cf. Mt 22:41-45).
- Jesus demonstrated his kingship during his 3½ -year ministry to the people of
Israel in the first century. However, that was just a taste of what he will do when
he returns and sets up the Kingdom of God echo endnote('clii'); ?> on earth. [More details on this
subject will be discussed in Chapters 9 and 10.]
- Jesus was born a Jew. He was born a king. Therefore he is king of the Jews. He
is still alive, and plans to make his kingship on earth in Jerusalem a reality. The
Jews will have no choice in this matter, and a few of them will see Jesus as the
long-awaited Messiah. Though there will be resistance (e.g., Psalm 2), the
Gentile nations will also have no choice in this matter when Jesus takes over the
rulership of the entire world. Disciples of Jesus will see this reign of Christ the
King as being the fulfillment of Daniel 2:44, 7:13-14, 27 and Revelation 11:15-18.
- Jesus’ kingship would extend far beyond Jerusalem and the Kingdom of God
would fill not only the whole land of Israel but the whole world (e.g., Is 2:2-4,
9:6-7, 11:1-11)! See how the Isaiah 9 passage ties a son’s birth to David’s throne
and kingdom, both accomplished by “the zeal of the LORD”:
to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be
upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty
God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 7 Of the increase of his
government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and
over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with
righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of
hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9)
- This is really exciting information for faithful believers, since Jesus promised to
share his reign with those “who conquer and who keep my works until the end”
(Rev 2:26-27, 3:21, 5:9-10, 20:4). It is also a clear and powerful warning to
those who have drifted away from the teaching of Scripture as well as those who
are living without any intention of serving God now or then. They will be
punished and destroyed! (e.g., Mt 24:48-51, 25:41-46, Rev 19:19-21, 20:7-15).
- Jesus told Pilate the governor that his kingship was utterly different than that
experienced in the Roman world (Jn 18:36). Earlier, he instructed his disciples on
what they must accept if they were to be servant-rulers in the Kingdom:
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the
Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
26 It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you
must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be
your slave; 28 even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus taught and practiced this servant-leadership. He expected
his disciples to follow the same path and take the same course of
action (e.g., Mt 10:16-39, 24:9-13) and they did (e.g., Acts 5:27-
33, 26:16-18). That expectation is the same for disciples today. If
a disciple of Christ wants to imitate his Lord, then he must be
serving now in this life, so that he can serve forever in the
Kingdom, as Jesus will be (cf. Lk 12:37). God, the ultimate Ruler, will still be a serving God in the Kingdom. He
remains the Sustainer of all life, the Provider for mankind, and Dad of His family.
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#4 – Galatians 4:4 – born of woman … under the law
The context of this verse is Paul setting up an argument for why the Galatian believers
must not go back to the law of Moses.
4 But when
the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born
under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive
adoption as sons
- “born of woman” is a clear, unambiguous statement. Mary was the woman.
- “born under the law” is also a simple statement of fact. Mary was a Jewess, Jesus
was her boy, and both were obliged to keep the law of Moses.
- Jesus was obligated to keep the law of Moses, and he did. But he went much,
much further. Instead of an animal sacrifice, Jesus made a voluntary, single
sacrifice of himself (Heb 9:12, 26) that God would use to justify those who had
faith. Works of the law could justify no one (Gal 2:16).
- “adoption as sons” alludes to being legally-recognized as part of another family.
In this case, it means to stop being a slave under the law of Moses, which could
not promise life, and start being a person free to serve Christ – who did promise
life! There was not only a switch of masters, from Sin to God (Rom 6:11-22) but
an elevation of status from slave to son (Rom 8:14-16). See the following table.
Freedom in Christ Law of Moses
- does promise life
- could not promise life
- commanded to follow, freedom of a son
- obliged to keep, bondage of a slave
- if break command, need to repent of sin, still considered to be ‘in Christ’
- if break one law, guilty of all, but can be reinstated
- reality: can follow Christ’s example
- reality: cannot keep this law
- the pleasure of grace
- the sense of guilt
- the prospect of eternal LIFE
- the prospect of eternal DEATH
- God is the Redeemer, while Jesus is the means of redemption. God’s plan
required a man under the law, so Jesus was born of Mary.
- The law could not save. Those who were redeemed from its bondage now became
eligible for inclusion into God’s family. The metaphor is that of purchasing a
slave from its owner, and then giving it liberty with the opportunity to accept
adoption into the family of a new master. The means of this accomplishment is by
faith in Jesus, “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith” (Gal
3:26). They were no longer slaves, but sons; and if a son, then an heir (Gal 4:6-7).
This change in relationship with God is a tremendous privilege, to be enjoyed by
Jew and Gentile alike. Participating in this relationship requires the act of
baptism, and the outcome of the association makes the person an heir to the
promise God gave to Abraham (Gal 3:27-29). Note the conditional statement: “if
you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise”.
- In describing salvation in Christ, Scripture uses different metaphors and words
to capture the richness and significance of how God is showing His mercy.
Here are some scenarios echo endnote('cliii'); ?>:
Scenario Word Used
- An accused person; a guilty person
- An estranged person; an enemy
- A debtor, who cannot pay
- A slave, serving the wrong ‘master’
- An orphan, with no hope/inheritance; a redeemed slave
- Common, ordinary…[need something special]
- Unclean, impure…[need cleansing]
- In trouble or danger…[need deliverance]
- “born of woman” is confirmation of how Jesus fulfilled the prophecy about ‘the
seed of the woman’ (cf. Gen 3: 15). Discussion of the passage was done earlier in
Chapter 2, Reference #4, under So What.
- There is an evident tie to the symbolic passage in Revelation 12:1-7, which speaks
of a pregnant woman (threatened by a hostile serpent echo endnote('cliv'); ?>) who gives birth to a male
child. This child was to “rule the nations with a rod of iron”, a detail that is said
to apply to Jesus (Rev 19:15, Ps 2:9). He was also “caught up to
God”, a phrase comparable to the ascension of Jesus to God’s right
hand echo endnote('clv'); ?>. Here’s what verse 5 says, but you should read the entire
passage for yourself.
5 she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod
of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,
- Mary is the mother of Jesus, not God. She existed prior to Jesus’ conception, as
implied by the term “mother”. This makes sense. Those who argue for a triune
God regard Mary as mother of the human Jesus, but not the divine Jesus. This
line of reasoning quickly turns into non-sense echo endnote('clvi'); ?>.
Mary was a faithful, but ordinary woman. The Roman Catholic Church seeks to
pay special honor to her, and in fact worship her. This is not Bible teaching, but
church tradition echo endnote('clvii'); ?>. Not only is the worship of Mary misguided, it is wrong
because it sets up someone other that God as the One to worship echo endnote('clviii'); ?>. To ensure
that Jesus could not be defiled by being born of Mary, Catholics claim she had an
‘immaculate conception’, i.e., there was no uncleanness or sin in her echo endnote('clix'); ?>. This
teaching is not found in Scripture. Finally, the Catholic doctrine of ‘perpetual
virginity’ echo endnote('clx'); ?> deduces that Mary had no other children. That teaching is flatly
contradicted by the Bible text (cf. Mt 1:25, 15:55-56).
Teaching Position on Mary
Bible Teaching Catholic Teaching
- no special conception
- immaculate conception
- had several children (both sexes)
- no children besides Jesus
- died, remains dead untilresurrection
- died, went to heaven
- just a “saint” like all other believers
- an object of worship
- Because Mary was a Jew, Jesus was born a Jew. Jesus lived and died as a Jew.
God deliberately made Jesus to be of that race. Let the reader understand: Jesus
the Christ was a Jew echo endnote('clxi'); ?>. He was not white European, black African or brown
Indian. He was not Anglo-Saxon, Hispanic or Chinese. He was not a Gentile but
a Jew, a race of people despised, hated, slandered, oppressed, persecuted and
killed by Gentiles from the time of Moses echo endnote('clxii'); ?> up until today. Why do men so
dislike the Jews? Many reasons are given, but the truth of the matter was
predicted in Scripture long ago echo endnote('clxiii'); ?>. The good news is that God does not make
race or color a criterion when offering eternal life through His Son Jesus.
“Anti-Semitism” [“semite” comes from “Shem” – one of Noah’s three sons – Gen 6: 10] is a
word used today to refer to racial hatred against the Jews. Whether it actually
occurs is hardly debated; it is manifest in many ways by many nations. In the
past, Christian Gentiles had often called the Jews ‘Christ killers’ – a cursed people
deserving of persecution and elimination. Such Gentiles [who carry the Christian
label] seem to forget that the Lord Jesus was not only a Jew, but he instructed his
followers to forgive their enemies. Being Anti-Semitic is wrong.
The term “Jew” is derived from “Judah”, one of 12 sons of a man God called
[At birth, this man was named “Jacob”.] Scripture teaches that God
knew that the descendants of Israel (including Judah) were a stubborn, rebellious
people (Dt 31:27-29). They would easily and quickly corrupt themselves and
become the object of His discipline. That race eventually would put Jesus to
death – the Messiah sent to save them from their sins. How tragic! However, the
Gentiles were equally involved in that killing (cf. Acts 4: 25-28). Thus there is no
basis in believing that only Jews should be cursed, since Gentiles also share the
All men, regardless of race or color or upbringing, are wayward, sinful people
who need the deliverance provided in Jesus Christ (Rom 3:20-24). The good
news is: God is still calling out to people to believe in His Son and join the
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#5 – Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:17 – born of a virgin
The first reference is part of the story which describes events leading up to the birth of
Jesus. The second reference is the OT source of the quote.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had
been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child
of the Holy Spirit; 19 and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put
her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered this, behold,
an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do
not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;
21 she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people
from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the
prophet: 23 “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be
called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep,
he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, 25 but knew her
not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.
- This account in Matthew dovetails with the details in Luke’s account. The child is
“of the Holy Spirit”. Mary is a “virgin”. She is “betrothed” to Joseph, and thus is
his intended wife.
In this passage, the angel speaks to Joseph instead of Mary. It makes sense that
he gets direct divine information of this unique conception, so that he will not
divorce her. Joseph believes the message, and obeys it. Presumably, part of the
angel’s instructions to Joseph was to have no sexual relations with Mary until
after Jesus was born.
- Since the record of Joseph awakening does not occur until v. 24, it means that the
citation from the prophet Isaiah was part of the dream. He now understood that
this amazing prophecy about a virgin conceiving was literal, not symbolic.
- In Luke, the given name is “Jesus”. Here in Matthew, an extra statement provides
the significance of that name: “for he will save his people from their sins”.
- The Matthew account also states that Jesus will be given a second name of
significance: “Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us’”.
- The prophecy in Isaiah 7:17 was literally fulfilled. Since He knows all things and
inspired the prophets, God can have the exact words He wants conveyed written
down. The apostle Peter wrote about this kind of certainty in 2Pet 1:19-21 – its
rightness and fulfillment are to be trusted.
- There are two New Testament accounts of the “virgin birth” of Jesus, and one Old
Testament prediction that has the equivalence of “virgin birth” in its words. Thus
there are three independent sources that present this fact about Jesus. Therefore,
it must be accepted as truth.
- When I was 18 and home from college one weekend, I went to speak with the
Anglican minister in town. Having been a former member of that congregation, it
was easy to initiate a discussion with the new minister, who fancied himself a
‘modern thinker’. By this he meant he belonged to the school of ‘higher critics’,
scholars who examined the Bible text in depth, and came away with ‘insights’ not
easily found by the ‘amateur’ Bible student – like me. In short, he said he did not
believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. Why? Because it would mean God intervening
in the course of human history, and it would be a miracle. He did not believe in
miracles, regarding them as quaint religious ideas for the immature and ignorant –
like me, presumably. And, it turned out, he did not believe in the existence of
God, much less His interest in humankind. What a shock! Here was a minister of
a major Protestant Christian church who was an atheist echo endnote('clxiv'); ?>! Conclusion: be a
competent Bible student and let the Bible speak for itself.
- In pursuing a degree in honors Mathematics with a major in Computer Science, I
took two courses on “Philosophy of Religion” at the university. I was a member
of “Intervarsity Christian Fellowship”, an ostensibly non-denominational student
group. Three experiences about truth-seeking are relevant to recount here:
- Bible not allowed – In the 101 course, we debated the existence of God.
The professor initially welcomed all input to the debate, until it became
evident that the Bible taken solely as an information source [with no claim
of authority] was still a powerful piece of evidence for the existence of a
Creator God. Since this was not the conclusion to be reached in his class,
citing the Bible as evidence was outlawed in discussion and was explicitly
forbidden as a reference source on the exam paper.
- Old Testament not used – During one of the Intervarsity Bible reading
sessions, we had just read chapter 9 in Romans. I suggested that it would
be profitable to research the OT cross references to verses 4-5, which
provided the basis for the subsequent discussion on Abraham and the
nation of Israel. No one else thought that was a good idea. Why?
Because that was OT stuff and thus not needed for New Testament people!
Isaiah not written by Isaiah – During an off-campus discussion with an
adult church instructor, the conversation turned to the book of Isaiah. He
asserted that modern scholarship had proven that the 66 chapters that were
attributed to the prophet Isaiah were in fact not written by Isaiah at all! I
had never heard that before. So asked him how he knew. He said he
learned it at seminary school. I asked what the evidence was. He cited the
work of the higher critics and their argument for multiple authors. I asked
what the actual proof was. He said it was evident from the different styles
and word choice. I replied that I used different styles and words in the
same research paper, but I was still the only author.
He then asked me what my case was for the single author being Isaiah. I
said that while there was a clear change in style after chapter 39, the
remaining 27 chapters talked about the same issues, hopes, and purpose of
God for Israel. A simple comparative analysis of content in the two
sections would clearly show high co-relation and thus prove single
authorship. Moreover, NT echo endnote('clxv'); ?> quotes from Is 6 & 53 attribute both to
Isaiah. He said he had never heard that before, and indicated I had made
- Bible not allowed – In the 101 course, we debated the existence of God.
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#6 – John 3:16 – the only-begotten son of God
This verse echo endnote('clxvi'); ?> comes immediately after Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus, “the teacher in
Israel”. The words may still be those of Jesus, or the beginning of a comment by the
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in
him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God sent the Son into the world,
not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
- “gave his only Son” is a poor translation in this Revised Standard Version. The
Greek word monogene is better translated “only begotten Son”, the wording found
in the King James Version. This term conveys the idea of one-and-only, which is
true of Jesus. He was the only human conceived this way, and the only man
declared to be the Son of God.
- “be saved through him” is the outcome reflected in the meaning of Jesus’ name.
- “perish” means more than to simply die; it indicates facing eternal oblivion and
being nothing forever.
- It is the love of God that compelled Him to send Jesus to the Jewish world to
deliver them from their sins. Gentiles would also be given the good news that
they would have the same opportunity to believe and so be saved.
- “only begotten” is concrete proof that God intervened in the world of mankind.
While it may be a challenge for the naturally-skeptical human mind to believe in
this teaching, it makes absolute sense for God to provide a unique birth for a
unique purpose. Also, what better way to show His kind of love for human
beings than to send His literal son into their midst – knowing they would kill
him echo endnote('clxvii'); ?>, but knowing it was the singular way to elicit their conviction and
- Because Jesus was literally the Son of God, he would want to obey echo endnote('clxviii'); ?>. Scripture
indicates that God talked with his son every day – would that not be His duty and
joy? Passages such as Is 50:4-9, Ps 40:6-8, and Heb 10:5-9 indicate that such
interaction and a father’s instruction would establish the way Jesus was able to
identify potential sin and then choose to overcome it.
Besides Bible Christianity, no other world religion has a solution for man’s
sinfulness and his inevitable perdition. Other than God-inspired Scripture, no
writing of man comes even close to explaining why we exist, and why God had to
intervene with His own special Son to reconcile humankind to their Creator.
While it is humanly impossible for a virgin to give birth, it is definitely possible
with God. It is presented as a fact in Scripture.
- Since God has done such a thing, it becomes easier to expect that He would also
be prepared to have His only beloved Son die, and then be resurrected to eternal
life, in order to get mankind’s attention echo endnote('clxix'); ?>. God would let them see how they too
can overcome sin and death, through faith in the man Jesus the Christ.
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Jesus was a descendant of both king David and the patriarch Abraham (Mt 1:1). As
shown in the family tree given in Luke 3:23-38, Jesus was also an offspring from the first
man Adam and his wife Eve. Like every other human being since creation, Jesus was
born of a woman. His mother Mary was a virgin, and it was by the power of the Holy
Spirit of God that Jesus was conceived. Thus Jesus was the “only-begotten” Son of God.
This unique event was a necessary first step in God’s plan to save the world, both Jew
and Gentile, both men and women, from sin and perdition.
The diagram below illustrates what true teaching about Jesus is for, and thus what false
teachings must be contended against.
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- What other ‘miracles’ were done by God to help people believe in such things as the virgin
- Why would Jesus be given the second name “Emmanuel”? How did he live up to this name?
- Jesus is a son. God is his father. Clearly there is a father-son relationship here. In the
ordinary meaning of the words – as understood on a human level and as taught in Scripture – the
father exists before his son is brought into existence by means of some action by the father.
Then why use Father and Son terms in the doctrine of a triune God, if those two beings always
existed together? Furthermore, when God-the-Holy-Spirit is brought into the relationship of the
God-the-Son and God-the-Father beings, what is the appropriate label to use? “Grandfather”?
I am not really looking for an answer here, but just trying to demonstrate how rigorously looking at
the triune relationship and finding suitable labels quickly runs into brick walls.
- Why is the lineage connection with king David so important?
- How might you have to change your thinking to “get it right with Jesus”?
The reader is encouraged to ponder and then answer these
questions. If desired, send the answers to the author, whose
home address and e-mail address can be found in the Foreword.
A response to your effort is promised.
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- Look in the Appendix for Strong’s Concordance analysis
about the following words: redemption, reconciliation,
- At the time of writing, there was a most interesting web
site featuring the writing [updated 2006] of Mary Ann
Collins, a former nun. Her study paper title was “Mary
Worship?” and sub-titled “A Study of Catholic Practice
The url was: http://www.catholicconcerns.com/MaryWorship.html
Make Your Notes