January 23, 2012
THAT HOLY THING
“Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee
shall be called the Son of God.”
Centuries earlier, the message of the prophet Isaiah was, “We are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isa 64:6). No greater indictment could ever be leveled at the human family than that! It is not only a matter that the best we can do is marred by sin, but that inherently, basically, we are unclean. It goes beyond our sins to our selves. The thought embedded in the word “thing” is what we are essentially.
Now it is an angel, Gabriel, who takes up similar language. Only this time, it is not an “unclean thing” but a “holy thing.” We are confronted with a unique Man, distinct in every way from all others. He came into the world by virtue of the Spirit of God and was holy from the moment of His conception in the womb. Untainted by human sin, by the principle of the flesh, He was pure and holy.
Mary’s question is worthy of consideration: “How shall this be?” Unlike Zacharias who had the example of Abraham to encourage his faith, Mary had no previous example of a virgin ever conceiving. Also, how could God bring a clean, holy child out of the womb of a fallen creature? “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee” in conception; “and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee” to preserve from any taint of fallen humanity. “Therefore that which shall be born of thee shall be holy (Newberry), the Son of God.”
He did not become the Son of God at Bethlehem; but He came as the Son sent by the Father. He was, and is, holy and without any taint of sin. He was holy on the throne above, holy in the womb of Mary, holy as He traversed the streets of Judea and Galilee, holy when upon the cross, holy in the tomb for three days, and holy now as He sits at God’s right hand. Everything rests upon the character of the Redeemer: holy, harmless, and undefiled.
1. Son of the Highest, Son of David, Son of God, and yet Son of Mary. Consider what each of these titles suggests and teaches.
2. “He shall be great” (v 32). How does this contrast with what is said in Luke 1:15 about John the Baptist?
3. “Of His kingdom there shall be no end” (v 33). This verse could be rightly translated, “Of His kingdom there shall be no outpost” or no limit. Every earthly kingdom has borders, limits. Here is one Who, in unmeasurable grace came, and as a result, will have an unmeasurable kingdom.