Friday, December 23, 2011

A Supernatural Begetting

"As the Lord's divine nature had no mother, so his human nature had no human father." - Martyn Lloyd-Jones

John Murray makes an excellent point here that Christ was not conceived, but begotten, of the Holy Spirit:
"Jesus was not conceived in the womb by the conjunction of male and female, by spermal communication from the man to the woman. He was begotten (rather than conceived) by the Holy Spirit, and the miraculous consisted in this supernatural begetting. In the absence of human begetting, it was that which made the birth a virgin birth. In this connection it is not proper, strictly speaking, to say that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (even though this is the phrase employed in the Apostles' Creed) ...What is said of Elizabeth's conception in reference to her baby John (Luke 1:24, 26) is repeated of Mary and her child. The Holy Spirit begat, Mary conceived (cf. also Luke 2:21)" 
Donald MacLeod, in his superb book, The Person of Christ, writes about Christ's conception:
"The derivation from the substance of the Virgin means that she as mother contributed to him all that any human mother contributes to her child, sin excepted. Through the umbilical cord, he is this particular man, the son of this particular woman, the bearer of the whole previous genetic history of her people and the recipient of innumerable hereditary features. He was a unique genotype precisely because she contributed at least half his chromosomes (as any human mother would). How the rest was contributed remains a mystery. The one certainty is that Mary could not herself have contributed the sex-determining chromosome, Y, which is always provided by the biological father. This chromosome, at least, must have been provided miraculously; and it remains possible that all the chromosomes normally derived from the male parent were provided in this way, the divine act which fertilised the ovum simultaneously creating twenty-three chromosomes complementary to those derived from the mother..."

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