Frank Retief was pastor at St James Church Cape Town for 31 years, having planted the church in 1968 with his wife Beulah. He became the Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa until he retired in 2010. Frank remains active in ministry through preaching, teaching, pastoral work & writing, and has authored a number of books.
An uncommon King (Part 3)
Matthew 1 v 18. This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
We are still grappling with the mystery of the Person of Jesus, our King. Continuing from where we left off yesterday we should note that the miraculous conception of Jesus is not the reason why He was sinless.
It is sometimes thought that original sin is transferred through the male line. But this is not true because women share in the sinfulness of the human race. This fallenness would have encompassed Mary too. In fact Mary herself was conscious of being a sinner and in Luke 1:47 she said: “My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”.
This does not suggest that there was any special or carnal sin about Mary. The book titled “The Da Vinci Code” and many liberal scholars have done enough of that. There is nothing to suggest that Mary was anything but a pure and upright Jewish teenager, who was chosen by God to bear the Saviour into the world. However that in itself does not make her sinless or above the rest of the human race. So if we want to trace the sinlessness of Jesus we must look elsewhere.
It is far more likely that God who can do anything, when He caused Mary to conceive also in a divine way preserved the special child who was to be born, from inheriting human sinfulness which Mary otherwise would have transmitted to her firstborn child. We do not use the word “begot” anymore today, but in this divine “begetting”, God preserved the new foetus from any sinful influence in a supernatural manner.
Incredible? Yes! But why should we not believe it? Our whole body of faith is based on God’s sovereign ability to provide us with a Saviour who was without sin Himself. And this seems to be the way He chose to do it. Jesus is truly an uncommon King.
Meditation: Read Hebrews 4:15 and ask yourself whether Jesus could have been any help to us if He himself was a sinner. Then read Hebrews 4:16 and lift your heart to God.