Jesus in the Womb
By Elisa Morgan
We know more about pregnancy today than any time in human history. Each week and month, a baby’s size is compared to various fruits and vegetables to give us perspective on development. At six months, when a baby moves inside a mother’s womb, she experiences a “kick!” I can remember awing over each developmental moment through my daughter’s pregnancies.
Even though I’ve never been pregnant, I’ve been thinking about this as we enter the season of Christmas. How does our current understanding of how a baby is formed in the womb of a woman inform our understanding of Scripture’s references to Jesus in the womb?
What? Scripture speaks of Jesus in the womb?
Indeed. It does!
Matthew 1:23 – “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means God with us).”
The angel’s words to Mary clearly convey that she will be pregnant with Jesus. He will grow within her womb. Our minds reel to take this in. How could a virgin conceive? The word conceive means “to have bed” as in sexual relations. And to “give birth” means what it says.
Luke 1:35 – “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
The concept here is to “draw near.” God, himself, would intimately be present with Mary in a way that is truly hard for us to comprehend and yet still, completely real. It happened.
John 1:14 – “The Word became flesh…”
Flesh means flesh. As in skin and bone and capillary and hair and nail. A physical being.
When David writes of God’s intimate knowledge of his own being in the womb of his mother in Psalm 139, we might read along without considering that Jesus, himself, was also in a womb. David’s focus of God forming him, knitting him together, is a reality that Jesus yielded himself to. Can you imagine the God of the universe held in a woman’s womb for nine months?
Stunning, isn’t it?
Might I offer a Christmas meditation for each of us? Read Psalm 139:13-16, considering that God himself was formed in a womb.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How does comprehending that reality shape your understanding of how Jesus truly identifies with us?
Ahhhh, Jesus, you are Immanuel. God with us. As we celebrate your coming to us to share our human plight, may we remember that you first shared the womb experience from which we are all birthed in order to bring about the rescue of our second birth. May we draw near to you and receive you as our Savior.
Elisa Morgan is the cohost of the new podcast, God Hears Her. She is also the cohost of Discover the Word and contributor to Our Daily Bread. Her latest book is When We Pray Like Jesus. Her other books include The Beauty of Broken, Hello, Beauty Full, and She Did What She Could. Connect with Elisa @elisa_morgan on Twitter, and @elisamorganauthor on Facebook and Instagram.