Vol. 17, No. 50 – December 16, 2018
The first thing Luke does is connect the announcement to Mary with the announcement to Elizabeth by using the connective Conjunction DE, “now,” and saying, “in the sixth month,” HEKTOS MEN, which is also in vs. 36, as Gabriel revealed Elizabeth’s pregnancy to Mary. Likewise, by naming Gabriel once again, cf. vs. 19, it links the two accounts. And, the fact that both pregnancies would be due to God miraculously working, links them together. Many put this time period from 6 to 4 B.C.
The location of Gabriel’s announcement was in Mary’s hometown of Nazareth located in Galilee, the northernmost province of Palestine ruled by Herod the Great as the native ruler of Judea from 37-4 B.C., and later his son Herod Antipas from 4 B.C. to 39 A.D.
Nazareth, Ναζαρέτ in this period, was an insignificant village of an estimated sixteen hundred to two thousand inhabitants. It is located in the lower Galilee region about halfway between Sea of Galilee and Mediterranean Sea. Galilee comprised the lands of Zebulun, Naphtali, Issachar and Asher. It is situated on the most southern of the ranges of lower Galilee, about ten miles from the plain of Esdraelon. It is on the slopes of a natural basin facing east and southeast. Although situated near several of the important trade routes of Palestine, the town itself was surrounded on three sides by high hills, giving it the appearance of isolation. Cana was about five miles to the northeast. A Roman road from Capernaum westward to the coast passed near Nazareth. It was a small village in Jesus’ day, having only one spring to supply fresh water to its inhabitants and was not an abundant agricultural area.
It was the home town of Mary and Joseph, and became the hometown of Jesus. The people in Judah disdained the Jews in Galilee and claimed they were not “kosher” because of their contacts with the Gentiles there, cf. Mat 4:15. They especially despised the people from Nazareth and it had a poor reputation, John 1:46, “Nathanael said to him, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see’.” It was an unimportant town as shown by the fact that it is not mentioned in the OT, the Talmud, or in Josephus. It reflected the humble nature by which Jesus entered the world, and was part of the first fulfillment of OT prophecy about the Christ, cf. Isa 53:3 with Mat 2:23; John 19:19.
Isa 53:3, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
Mat 2:23, “And came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: ‘He shall be called a Nazarene’.”
John 19:19, “Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, ‘JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS’.”
Nazareth comes from the Hebrew Noun NETSER that means “a shoot or branch,” which too is part of the fulfillment of prophecy, Isa 11:1, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit,” cf. vs. 27. Some also think it comes from the Hebrew NOTSERAH, that means, “one guarding or watching,” thus designating the hill which overlooks and thus guards an extensive region. This is also an appropriate correlation to Jesus Christ.
Jesus became known as “Jesus of Nazareth,” Mat 2:23; 26:71; Luke 18:37; 24:19; John 1:45; Acts 2:22; 3:6; 10:38, and His hometown became affixed to Christianity, as even His apostles were called Nazarenes, Acts 24:5.
In this verse, we learn several important facts:
1. Jesus’ mother would be a virgin; therefore, He would not have a human father, cf. vs. 35. Luke presents the theology of the Incarnation in a way so holy and congruent with OT sacred history that any comparisons with pagan mythology seem utterly incongruous. Instead of the carnal union of a pagan god with a woman, producing some kind of semi-divine offspring, Luke speaks of a spiritual overshadowing by God Himself that will produce the “Holy One” within Mary.
- The first prophecy of the virgin birth, Gen 3:15-16.
- The Jewish prophecy of the virgin birth, Isa 7:14; 9:6-7.
- The historical fulfillment of the virgin birth, Mat 1:19-25.
- The result of the virgin birth, John 1:14; Rom 1:3; 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 2:14; Phil 2:5-11.
2. She was already engaged. Engagement was as solid as marriage is today. To get un-engaged, they needed to apply for a certificate of divorce. Mary had already been given to Joseph, and according to the tradition of the betrothal, though they had not yet lived together or consummated the marriage, legally they were considered man and wife, cf. Mat 1:20, 24. The betrothal was a form of agreement that included witnesses, a marriage contract, and the payment of the bridal price. The betrothal was the first stage of the marriage procedure. The betrothal period was generally concluded at the end of one year when the woman would transfer residence to the man’s house.
3. The man she was engaged to was named Joseph. Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus. Nevertheless Matthew’s genealogy should be considered from the perspective that it is an official genealogy of Joseph intended to show that Jesus, as the son of Joseph, in the eyes of the Law is of the lineage of David. The very fact that Joseph took Mary as his wife, made Jesus the legal offspring of Joseph. Though nothing is said of Joseph outside the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke, both Gospel writers portray him as a man of deep piety, “Joseph the just,” and as a loving and devoted father of Jesus.
4. Joseph is a descendant of king David, therefore through adoption, Jesus is in the kingly line of David, Cf. Mat 1:16, with vs. 6; as he also is through Mary, cf. Luke 3:23 with vs. 31.
5. The virgin’s name is Mary, to be the mother of Jesus. Many believe she was only 12 or 13 years old at this time, but we do not know for sure. Luke’s Gospel presents Jesus’ birth from Mary’s point of view. It is also primarily concerned with showing the validity of the stories it contains. The doctrinal cornerstone of the Christian faith is the Deity of Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Birth is integral to this teaching. Therefore, Jesus Christ was born 100% man and 100% God; as truly God and truly man in what we call “hypostatic union.”
The Necessity of our Lord’s Virgin Birth:
1. Adam’s original sin is the origin of the Old Sin Nature (OSN) in the human race, Gen 3:6b-7, 17-19; Rom 5:12, 15b-17; 1 Cor 15:21-22a.
Rom 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
1 Cor 15:21-22, “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.”
It is Adam’s original sin that is the precedence leading to the OSN, not the woman’s original sin, since Adam’s sin was deliberate; the woman was deceived.
2. At copulation, the OSN is transmitted through the 23 male chromosomes that contain the cells of the Sin Nature, which fertilize the 23 female chromosomes in the ovum that is absent of the cells of the OSN. The throwing off of the 23 female chromosomes that contain the OSN is done in the process called Meiosis and Polar body.
“Meiosis is a process where a single cell divides twice to produce four cells containing half the original amount of genetic information. These cells are our sex cells – sperm in males, eggs in females.” (Genome Research Limited, https://www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-meiosis).
Pictorially, the process is as such:
This illustration of the nine stages of Meiosis is credited to “Genome Research Limited,” (https://www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-meiosis).
Another graphic shows the process broken down into two categories called Meiosis I and Meiosis II.
Meiosis I, Separate the Homologues:
Meiosis II, Separate the Sister Chromatids:
In Meiosis II, (Prophase II, Metaphase II, Anaphase II, and Telophase II and cytokinesis), the last phase Telophase II and cytokinesis, results in the ovum and three polar bodies that are thrown off. “Once cytokinesis is complete there are four granddaughter cells, each with half a set of chromosomes (haploid), in males, these four cells are all sperm cells, in females, one of the cells is an egg cell while the other three are polar bodies (small cells that do not develop into eggs).” (Genome Research Limited.)
“In the egg, there is a division into 4 cells with unequal fates; 1 ovum plus 3 polar bodies. The 3 polar bodies disintegrate. The 1 ovum gets all the resources (cytoplasm, mitochondria) and may get fertilized.” (Iupui Department of Biology, “Meiosis and the Formation of Eggs and Sperm,” https://www.biology.iupui.edu/biocourses/N100/2k4ch9meiosisnotes.html)
As such, in the female, the elimination of the cells containing the OSN, (polar bodies), are thrown off and the viable female egg or ovum that remains does not contain the OSN cells. Yet, in the male, the process of splitting the cells into 23 chromosomes does not eliminate the OSN, as all four are viable called sperm.
During sexual reproduction, fertilization of the ovum (23 chromosomes) by the sperm (23 chromosomes) restores the diploid number and creates a zygote (46 chromosomes) that divides and grows by mitosis to form a multicellular human.
Therefore, we see the result and importance of the virgin birth. No human father, means no OSN cells. No OSN cells, means born without sin.
3. At human birth, the baby has the genetic structure of the OSN inside of its DNA. At birth, God imputes Adam’s original sin to the OSN, and the new born becomes a like copy of Adam at the point of his fall in the garden. At birth, the Holy Spirit then breathes the “breaths of lives,” (NESHAMAH), Gen 2:7, into the new born and the baby is born physically alive. But, because of the OSN and the imputation of Adam’s original sin, the baby dies spiritually. There are two factors involved in our spiritual death.
- The Old Sin Nature.
- Adam’s original sin.
4. The OSN contaminates all the cells in the human body and when God the Father imputes Adam’s original sin to Old Sin Nature at the time of physical birth, spiritual death results.
5. Yet, the female, (through meiosis and polar body), throws off the 23 chromosomes that are contaminated with the OSN, leaving 23 uncontaminated chromosomes prior to fertilization. All the other cells in the female body are contaminated by the OSN; the ovum prior to fertilization is the only exception. That is why Mary was not without sin. She had an OSN.
6. Although both the man and the woman in the garden were equally guilty, the woman’s sin of ignorance was the reason she became the bearer of the embryo, 1 Tim 2:13-15.
7. While both man and woman are carriers of the OSN, only the man can transmit it through the fertilization of the female ovum.
8. Since, it is only the male’s 23 chromosomes that carry the OSN and not the female’s, this means that if a woman could have a virgin pregnancy, (i.e., if her ovum could be fertilized apart from male copulation), the progeny could be born into the world without an OSN. Being born without an Old Sin Nature, Adam’s original sin could not be imputed to that person, there being no affinity required for this imputation.
9. Therefore, Christ being born without an OSN meant there was no imputation of Adam’s original sin to our Lord. He was born physically and spiritually alive with no OSN and no original sin imputation.
10. This was how our Lord was born as the last Adam, 1 Cor 15:45. The first Adam was created perfect (without sin); the last Adam, Jesus Christ, was born perfect (without sin). So, Jesus Christ was in like form as Adam before the fall.
1 Cor 15:45, “So also it is written, “The first Man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”
11. Remember that while Mary was a virgin, she was not perfect or impeccable. Only her virgin‑born son was absolutely perfect at birth. And, Mary did not remain perpetually as a virgin. She had other children Mat 13:55-56; 12:46; Mark 6:3.
12. Therefore, it is the virgin birth that is the basis for redemption, because it provided the world with a perfect human being, the only one qualified to be judged for the sins of the world, Heb 9:15-16.
Heb 9:15, “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.”
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
# 18-132, 18-133, & 18-134
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!