How Was God Born as Jesus?
Rev. Ottar Larsen
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:34, 35)
Who was Jesus Christ? You know that He is called the "Son of God." But what does that mean ? Are you not a son or a daughter of God ? Yes, you are. We are all His children. But there is a difference. Jesus Christ was the One God, appearing among people on this earth - in an earthly body. Today, I want you to reflect upon how that could be possible.
You know that you have a father and a mother. You were born because your parents were married by the Lord and because they love each other. It takes both a father and a mother to create a baby. The Lord creates, but your parents were allowed to participate in His work when He created you.
With the Lord's birth it was different. Joseph, who was betrothed to Mary, was not the father of Jesus. Joseph adopted the Child Jesus. Joseph was a son of David. The Lord, as an adopted son of Joseph, became a son of David too, according to the Law. If Joseph was not the father of Jesus, then who was? The Word answers: "(Mary) was found with child of the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit is God Himself. God has a spirit, the Holy Spirit. You have a spirit too. Your spirit is yourself. Therefore, we may say to someone "you showed a good spirit when you lost the game, and were cheerful anyway."
The Father of Jesus was God Himself. This is clear from the Gospels. Joseph knew for sure that he was not the father of the child that Mary was having. It is said that he did not yet "know" her. Joseph therefore at first thought that Mary had been unfaithful to him and that she had loved another man. He was ready to break off the betrothal. The Word says this: "He was minded to put her away privily (or secretly)." But the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." The Word tells us that Joseph did not "know" Mary until after Jesus was born. This means that they did not live together as husband and wife until then. Here the old prophesy was fulfilled, that a virgin was to have a child, who is Immanuel, which means God with us. In Jesus, God Himself came to visit us. Therefore the angel said to Joseph: "(Mary) shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." (Matt. 1:20-21) Jesus means "Jehovah is salvation."
In the Old Testament the Lord had said: "I am the Lord (Jehovah) thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior" (Isaiah 43:3). "Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord (Jehovah) and beside me there is no Savior " (Isaiah 43:10, II). "I am the Lord (Jehovah) who maketh all things; who stretcheth forth the heavens alone: who spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself. " (Isaiah 44:24). "I am the Lord (Jehovah) and there is none else, there is no God beside me" (Isaiah 45:5). We can see, then, that God is One, our Savior Jesus Christ.
Therefore the prophet told us who Jesus Christ was, even before He was born. The Lord prepared His own coming, so that when He came He would be received as the One He really is. "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6). There we are told that the Child or Son that was born was "The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father." " Jesus Christ is the One God Almighty, our Father, come to earth to save us, as He had promised. This is why the Lord said: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."
That does seem hard to understand, that God could be a person, walking on this earth. But think about yourself: Is your body really you? No. Your love, your (mind or) spirit, that is really you. Your body simply does what your spirit wants it to do, and it tells your spirit about what it sees, hears, and senses, so that you can be present in this world.
The body of the Lord Jesus Christ served the same purpose as yours. But His spirit was God Himself. Remember, it was the Holy Spirit which came upon Mary, and overshadowed her; therefore it was said that: "That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. " (Luke 1:34).
At birth Jesus Christ had a Divine Soul. During His life on earth, He made His natural mind also Divine. With His death and resurrection even His body was made Divine.
Jesus Christ therefore is the one God, who came to us so that we can see Him and know His love for us, so we can worship Him. He is our Divine Shepherd who saves us when we follow Him and obey Him.
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"The happiness of eternal life cannot be perceived by the person who is in the affection of good and truth, while they live in the world, but instead thereof they can perceive a certain delight. . . . To be content in God is such a delight. When, however, a person puts off the body, and at the same time worldly things, then the happiness which had lain concealed in obscurity in his interior man, comes forth and reveals itself. (AC 3938)
-New Church Home 1977;42:77-78