AN UNUSUAL BEGINNING
The story of the Gospel is an oft-told story around the globe. In certain parts of the world, it could even be called a familiar story. I would suspect that at just about any moment somewhere on the planet, a witness—in some form—to the Gospel will be happening. Millions have heard it. Millions more will understand as the days, months, and years unfold. So, just what is this world-renown story?
Essentially, the facts of the Gospel revolve around man born of unusual circumstances to a young Jewish woman named Mary a bit over two thousand years ago. It is this beginning act of the Gospel story that I want to share today. Other parts of the story include the examination of the life of this man and the implications of his death. I hope we can take a fresh look at those two aspects of the Gospel story in subsequent posts. For today, let’s look at his unusual beginning.
The focal point of unusual is the fact that this man was conceived in the womb of this young virgin girl without her participating in the sexual act—or any other natural means—by which women of this world conceive a child. This man’s conception and birth remains a unique phenomenon in all of history.
Rather than by any means natural to man, Jesus was conceived in this young woman in a moment of impartation—implantation really—by God Himself, the Holy Spirit. It was a holy and supernatural spiritual encounter to be sure. It was even announced by an angel of notable rank. But we must not miss the astounding truth that at this moment the spiritual actually touched and breathed God’s own life to the physical stuff of man! There, Heaven met and joined the Earth; God joined Mankind. The miraculous partnership of life was created in this absolutely unique conception when the Eternal Word of the Father entered as a life-giving seed into physical partnership with the natural life-bearing egg of Mary. The child born of this encounter with Heaven was named Jesus.
GOD JOINS HIMSELF WITH MAN
Father God’s own life—in the eternally existent person of His Son—purposely joined Himself with mankind’s natural substance and DNA by the action of God’s own Spirit. In doing so, Jesus linked himself –as God—forever with mankind. The result was what Christian theologians explain to us as the doctrine of the Incarnation. Personally, believing Christians have come to know this Supernatural Incarnation of God Almighty and mankind by his name, Jesus of Nazareth, by His living Presence in our lives and our corporate community, and by his many titles of authority including Lord, King, Messiah, Christ, Son of God, and Son of Man to name a few.
HEAVEN’S PURPOSES ARE FULFILLED IN JESUS
The Gospel, then, is a story about a man named Jesus. He was fully man, but not just any man. It is the story about the God of all creation becoming one unique man on behalf of us all. This one man, Jesus, is the object—the hero if you will—of the Gospel story. He is also the object and fulfillment of the purposes of God that led to literally everything that is. Scripture reveals that “all things, whether things in heaven or on earth, were created by Him…” and that “He is before all things.” Scripture goes on to declare “…all that is, was made both through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16-17 Yes! Any way you look at him, Jesus is the center, source, and substance of the universe and of time and space!
Elsewhere, Jesus is revealed as the One—incarnate, living, and expressed in human flesh—of whom it is said “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5
MANKIND’S DARKNESS: THE STAGE TO REVEAL MANKIND’S BRIGHTEST HERO
The darkness which this passage is referring to is our shared and personally experienced darkness—mankind’s darkness. In part, it is our confusion and our blindness that made the events of the Gospel story—of which this unique birth of this unique man is the beginning—necessary.
However, because we are so deeply steeped in our darkness, we run the risk of speaking of the Gospel only in reference to that darkness. This is a mistake! It is a story much bigger than darkness. It’s about a Life, and the light of that life enlightening every man, woman, and child on this Earth. John 1:4-9 Without ignoring the reality of our darkness, but looking up, out of it, I encourage all of us to intentionally keep our attention fixed on the hero of the story, Jesus. If we do, we will discover that it is a story about Him, and through Him, our overcoming all darkness with His life, His joy, and His greater love.
So, if you will, take a few moments to think about the beginning of this amazing Gospel story. It is the coming of God Himself into the life of mankind through a faithful young Jewish woman who said “Yes!” to a most remarkable assignment. It is most simply the story of Jesus, and what Jesus means to and for you and me.
That’s how it started, but there is a lot more to come!