Friday, December 23, 2016

Incarnation (6) Illegitimate

When God became man, he did not just become a human, he became an illegitimate child.

When Mary became pregnant, her explanation was absurd. She said that the Holy Spirit had overshadowed her, and that she was still a virgin. No one would believe that story. Everyone would assume that, at worst, she had been seduced by someone, or at best, she had been raped by a Roman soldier. She could not name the father of her child, so everyone would assume that the baby was illegitimate. I presume that she went to visit Elizabeth to escape the insults.

Joseph assumed the worst. He could not marry a woman who was already pregnant, but he was a kind man so he offered to divorce here quietly. Only when an angel spoke to him in a dream and confirmed Mary’s account of what had happened did he agree to Mary her and care for her baby. Marrying Mary was a tough choice for Joseph, because everyone in the village would see that she was pregnant, but not married. He would be labelled as the man with an illegitimate son.

The label stuck with Jesus when he was growing up. When he entered the synagogue at the beginning of him ministry, the people scoffed.

Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son (Mark 6:3).
The were offended by Jesus. They called him “Mary’s son”. That was a reminder that his father was not known. Deut 23:2 said that an illegitimate person could not enter the assembly of the Lord. They believed that he had no right to speak in the synagogue.
When the Jewish leaders challenged Jesus they threw the same insult at him. They asked him.
Where is your father (John 8:19).
They were reminding him that his mother had refused to name his father. When Jesus reminded them that they were spiritual slaves, they said,
We were not born of fornication (John 8:41).
They were trying to insult Jesus by reminding him that he was born illegitimately.
God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son. He did not just becomes man. He was born amidst poverty and insults. What amazing love.

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