What a statement! Sounds a little crazy, maybe even freaky, but it is true! When we hear a proclamation such as this, our minds might think immediately of Mary, but not ourselves.
Mary was the young woman in in Nazareth who became the mother of Jesus. When the messenger of God brought the declaration to her that she would become pregnant and bring forth the Son of God into the world – she was concerned. The scripture says she was troubled and fearful. Here is a summary of the account in Luke 1:27-32; 35-35.
- God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David . . . “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
In Luke 1:29 the word “troubled” means: acutely distressed in her inner self with emotional stress and thoughts going back and forth in her mind.
Surely, Mary is trying to figure out how or why she was favored. Imagine all the thoughts and emotions that were swirling around as to being unmarried and pregnant, not to mention the shock of seeing an angel.
Confusion, concern and fear of what this means, and anxiety as to how this will be worked in her and in her life.
The angel told Mary this is from the grace of God, God’s grace to her and to all mankind. The word for “grace” is used here, meaning that what is about to occur has nothing to do with Mary’s value or worthiness but it comes from God’s grace . It is a gift, a blessing, undeserved, the unearned favor of God. It is the same word that is used of God saving us through His grace.
- … But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Eph. 2:4-5
In a sense, we like Mary, are pregnant with the Son of God. You may be questioning, “What? How can this be, since I am a sinner.?”
We are pregnant with Christ through the Spirit of Christ in us. Scriptures verify this truth, that through our faith, repentance and baptism into Christ we have His Spirit living inside of us.
- Because you are sons and daughters, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6
- “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
- And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
Transformed to Be Like the Son of God
Paul used the birth analogy as he explained how teaching the followers of Christ was like being a mother waiting for the image of Christ to be formed in them and birthed into the world.
- My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, Galatians 4:19
God’s plan was not only to bring us into a relationship with Him but to transform us by restoring His image in us. God does this by the sanctifying work of His Spirit in us.
- But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as first fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 2 Thess.2:13
- And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18
- For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29
What does this mean for us?
We have been saved through our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus. The Spirit of Christ is now in us.
We are pregnant with Christ through His Spirit in us. We are to give birth to Jesus, so to speak, by letting His nature, character and purpose come through us to others.
This purpose of Christ in us is made clear through scripture.
Jesus, Himself, identifies His followers as light and salt to the world. Our purpose is to shine forth Jesus in such a way that people are drawn to God so they too can have a relationship with God.
- You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5 :14
The apostle Paul repeats this imagery with more specific details relating having a treasure inside us and this treasure being the light to give out the knowledge of God.
- For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7
In 2 Corinthians 3:3, Paul characterizes this mission of giving birth to Jesus unto the world in a unique way by identifying the followers of Jesus as letters form Christ to be read by all.
- You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
Paul further clarifies the idea of giving birth to Christ in us when he states that we are representatives of Christ in this world. We as ambassadors of Christ to show forth His image to the world, with the hope of reconciling people back to God.
- We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Cor.5:20
This is an amazing truth. I am still marveling at this truth. I am asking myself several questions.
- Is this true in my life? Do I truly have the Spirit of Jesus living in me? (Romans 8:9)
- Am I submitting my will to the Spirit daily and allowing myself to be led by Him and transformed by Him? (Romans 8:12-14)
- What about this thought brings out resistance in me? Why?
- How am I showing the image of Jesus to the world; to my sisters and brother in Christ; to my family?
Also, I have to ask myself:
- Do I like Mary grasp the glory and privilege of this truth?
- Can I say with her, “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For He has looked with favor on the humble state of His servant.” Luke 1:46-48a
My final thought for meditation is that I/we have been chosen to bear Christ to the world!