Born of a Woman

December 16, 2018

When Jesus came into the world, he came at the right time. It was the appointed time of the Lord and He came more than seven hundred years after the prophet Isaiah prophesized: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). Before that time, generations came and went, but the promised Son did not come because it was not yet the appointed time. Nevertheless, many did not stop waiting for they also knew the Word of the Lord given through the prophet Habakkuk. The Lord said, “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Hab. 2:3).

But why would God have to delay the fulfilment of prophecies?  We certainly have no clue, but we can draw some insights from the words of the apostle Peter. While encouraging those who had been waiting for the second coming of the Lord Jesus, he said, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9). The Lord is willing to wait for those who need to repent and be saved, even if it takes centuries to do so, just like what happened during the first coming of the Lord Jesus.

When the time had fully come, Jesus was born of a woman, as was prophesied. There were many women at that time but God chose Mary as the vessel to bring about the fulfilment of the prophecy. But what was it about Mary that she was favoured to be the mother of Jesus? Firstly, she was a clean vessel by being a virgin. She was untouched by any man though she was pledged to be married. This was the plan of God for it was prophesied, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14).

Secondly, Mary was from the line of David. Again, there were many virgins around at the time, but God chose one who was from the royal lineage of David. It was important because it was again prophesied that the Messiah will be a descendant of King David. Both Mary and Joseph descended from the tribe of David because we are told that when a census took place at that time, “Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child” (Luke 2:4-5). The genealogy of Jesus also shows that Mary and Joseph were descendants of David.

Thirdly, Mary was humble and obedient. When told that she will become the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, she did not resist. Rather, she told the angel, “I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38). Notwithstanding the fact that this will completely alter all her plans with Joseph, she willingly submitted. Many girls her age would have rejected the proposition but not Mary. She was willing to become the Lord’s servant.

Lastly, Mary was very spiritual. She did not take the message lightly but gave glory to God. In response to all that was said about her being the mother of Jesus, she said, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name” (Luke 1:46-49).

These qualities of Mary ought to be emulated by us. We must understand that the Lord will use clean vessels. We can only be clean when we are born again, as our sins are washed away by the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. And if we are in Christ, then we belong to the tribe of David and are partakers of every promise God gave David. As bearers of the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must humbly accept God’s commission and be his servants. We must also grow in our faith so that the spiritual person in us will prevail. While Jesus was born of a woman, we are born of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Glory to God!