I Formed You: Before You Were Conceived In the Womb I Knew You

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage begins in the eighteenth verse of the thirteenth chapter and continues through to the fourteenth verse of the fourteenth chapter of this New Testament book. ”Then said he, Unto what is the  kingdom of God like? And whereunto shall I resemble it? IT is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (Luke 13:18-21).

            “And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them. Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last” (Luke 13:22-30).

            “The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to day and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is that he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:31-35).

            “And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; and answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things” (Luke 14:1-6).

            “And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:7-11).

            “Then said he also to him that bad him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the dead” (Luke 14:12-14).

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you find it beginning with something which was incredibly familiar within the four New Testament gospels—namely, Jesus using parables to teach and speak concerning the kingdom of heaven. If and as you begin reading with and from the eighteenth verse of the thirteenth chapter you will once more find Jesus teaching His disciples and followers concerning the kingdom of heaven. With this being said, however, it’s interesting to note that when Jesus taught the crowds and the masses concerning the kingdom of heaven He would use parables to speak of the great mysteries and realities surrounding the kingdom. It’s actually quite unique and interesting to think about and consider this particular reality, for it calls and draws our attention to the incredibly awesome and powerful truth surrounding the kingdom of heaven and Jesus coming into the earth to not only teach concerning the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but also doing so in parables. What we must needs realize and recognize concerning these parables is that Jesus would take ordinary and common realities and items which they would have been familiar with and use them to describe the kingdom of heaven and what it was likened unto. IN this particular portion of Scripture we find two distinct realities mentioned concerning the kingdom of heaven, for Jesus would initially speak of the kingdom of haven being like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and cast into his garden. As a direct result of this man casting the grain of mustard seed in his garden it not only grew, but it also waxed and became a great tree in the midst of the garden—a tree which the fowls of the air lodged within the branches thereof. The second reality concerning the kingdom of heaven which Jesus spoke of was how it was like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened. It’s actually quite interesting and unique to read these two parables which Jesus spoke concerning the kingdom of heaven, for when speaking of and describing the kingdom of heaven Jesus not only described it as something which was planted and which would ultimately grow, but he also spoke of it as something which was hidden and spread.

            PLANTED AND GROWING; HIDDEN AND SPREADING! We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found within this portion and passage of Scripture, for it calls and draws our attention to the incredibly awesome and powerful truth surrounding the kingdom of heaven and how although Jesus came to establish and set up the kingdom of heaven within the earth, the kingdom of heaven had very specific aspects and characteristics. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for if we wish and desire to recognize and understand the kingdom of heaven we must needs understand exactly how it is manifested in the midst of the earth. If and as you read the four New Testament gospel narratives you will find Jesus coming unto the world as the Word made flesh which would dwell among men. For thirty years that Word which was made flesh would indeed be manifested in the midst of the earth and among men, however, that Word which was made flesh would be hidden and concealed within the town of Nazareth in the region of Galilee. Upon studying the four gospel narratives you will find that after Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem Joseph was warned in a dream of the murderous intentions and desires of Herod. As a direct result of this dream Joseph would take Mary and the child into the land of Egypt where they would remain until the death of Herod and until Joseph received further instruction from the LORD through a dream. Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear how long Joseph, Mary and the child Jesus were down in the land of Egypt, however, we must needs recognize and understand that there was a period of time after Jesus was born that He was hidden and concealed within the land of Egypt apart from the murderous threats, desires and intentions of Herod.

            It is actually quite remarkable and quite astonishing to read the words which are found in the New Testament gospels concerning the kingdom of heaven—particularly and especially when reading in this passage of Scripture—for within this passage of Scripture we find Jesus speaking of the kingdom of heaven as that which was planted and that which grew, as well as that which was hidden and spread. I am absolutely and completely convinced that we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of how absolutely incredible this reality truly is, for it calls and forces us to acknowledge the reality surrounding Jesus Himself. There is without a doubt a powerful demonstration and manifestation of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth during those three and a half years in which Jesus walked upon the face of the earth. What’s more, is that when we think about Jesus the Christ we must needs recognize and understand that when He was born into the world He was born during the days of the Roman Empire which would be the dominant and controlling superpower upon the face of the earth. The earth had already witness and experienced the reigns of the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, and the Grecian Empire, and now Rome was the dominant superpower present within and upon the earth. During the days and times Jesus was born into the world and came unto His own Rome controlled much of the known world at that time. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning those days it’s that the eternal Father caused and allowed His own begotten Son to be born within the Roman Empire directly under the nose of Caesar and the occupying power of that day. Within the days of empire the eternal Father would cause a King to be born in the midst of it—a King who would one day sit upon the throne of David and would rule, judge and govern the nations. Oh how absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it, for it calls and draws our attention to how in some ways and some respects Jesus Himself was a powerful representation of the kingdom of heaven within and upon the earth.

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in the four gospel narratives concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, and I can’t help but think about the fact that in some ways Jesus Himself directly mirrored the characteristics of the kingdom of heaven which He spoke and taught the people in parables. What’s more, is that within this portion and passage of Scripture you will find two distinct characteristics of the kingdom of heaven—namely, that it was something which was planted and grew, and something which was hidden and ultimately spread. If you think about and consider the very life and nature of Jesus the Christ when the Holy Ghost came upon Mary and when the power of the most High God overshadowed her you will find that the seed and the life of the Messiah was planted within the womb of Mary. The seed and life of the Messiah would be planted within the womb of Mary away from the eyes of the world all around her, and it would be there in the midst of the womb of Mary where Jesus would grew over a period of nine months. For nine months the seed and life of the Messiah would grow within the womb of Mary until the appointed time came for the child to be delivered. For nine months the life of the Messiah would grow within the womb of Mary until it would eventually come to the point when it could no longer remain within her womb and needed to come forth from that womb and into the earth. Oh how absolutely astonishing and incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that just as the grain of mustard seed which was the smallest of seeds was cast, sown and planted into the earth and remained and abided underneath the ground away from the eyes of men, so also would the seed of the Messiah be planted and sown into the womb of Mary away from the eyes of men where it would remain until the appointed time came for it to be brought forth as life in the midst of the earth.

            I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must needs recognize and understand the narrative concerning the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, for as much as the kingdom of heaven was likened unto that which was sown and planted into the ground, so also was Jesus Himself planted and sown into the soil and the ground of the womb of Mary. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading these words, for I am convinced that just as the kingdom of heaven had very specific characteristics and traits which Jesus described in parables, so also did Jesus’ own life in many ways resemble the kingdom of heaven which He came teaching and preaching. It is something worth thinking about and considering when reading this particular narrative how the life of Jesus was itself implanted and sown within the womb of Mary, and it would be there in the soil of that womb that seed would begin to grow in the hidden and secret chambers of her womb as the living and eternal Father would form and fashion His own Son within the womb. What makes this all the more intriguing when you take the time to consider it is when you take into consideration the words which are found in the first chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Jeremiah, as well as the words which are found in the one-hundred and thirty-ninth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms. It is one thing to think about the seed and life of the Messiah being planted within the womb of Mary, however, it is something else entirely to think about and consider how even after that life of the Messiah was planted within the womb of Mary it would not only grow over a period of nine months, but it would also be formed and fashioned during that period of time. Oh we often times think about the life of the Messiah being planted within the womb of Mary and how it simply grew within the womb, however, I am convinced there is another element and aspect that is found concerning the life of the Messiah within the womb of Mary—namely, how although that life was indeed the person of the eternal and only begotten Son of God, the eternal Father would form and fashion His own Son within the womb of Mary. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Jeremiah, as well as the Old Testament poetic book of Psalms concerning the hidden and unseen work of the eternal Father within the womb of a woman:

            “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but , lo, O LORD, thou knoest it altogether. Thou hast best me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: IF I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. IF I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins; thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as ye there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! IF I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: Depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? And am I not grieved with those that rise up against thee? I Hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:1-24).

            “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, LORD God! Behold, I cannot speak: For I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Sat not, I am a child: For thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: For I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:4-10).

            I am absolutely and completely convinced we must needs pay close and careful attention to the words which are found within each of these two passages of Scripture, for what we find within these two texts is a powerful picture and demonstration of the reality of the living and eternal God and the hidden and concealed work He does within the womb of a woman. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading these words it’s that the seed of life is implanted and sown within the womb of a mother, and that is in all reality only the beginning of the work. The beginning of the work within the womb of the woman is the seed itself being sown within the woman, and yet once that seed has been sown within the womb of a woman the real work truly begins in that secret and hidden place. We dare not and must not lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it is—particularly and especially when we consider the seed and life of the Messiah being sown into the womb of Mary, for although the seed and life which was sown into the womb of Mary was that of the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father, there would be a hidden and concealed work which would take place there in the womb. The seed and life of the Messiah would initially be sown into the womb of Mary, and it would abide there without any outward evidence that anything was even taking place behind the scenes and within her physical body. For a certain period of time the seed and life of the Messiah would grow within the womb of Mary away from the watching eyes of the world and completely undetected and unnoticeable by those who were before and around Mary. Eventually, however, there would come a point in time when Mary’s physical appearance and body would change and she would begin to show that there was life growing inside of her. Oh pause for a moment and think about how absolutely incredible this truly is, and how there can actually be life growing within the womb of a woman, and how initially for a certain period of time there is no evidence of that life growing within her. Eventually, however, that life would grow in such a way that it would begin to alter her physical body as she would begin showing the world all around her that there was indeed and there was in fact something growing inside of her.

            The more I think about and consider this concept of the seed and life of the Messiah being planted within the womb of Mary the more I can’t help but be brought to the place where it is more than simply that seed and life being implanted and sown into the womb of Mary. We tend to focus solely on the Holy Ghost coming upon Mary and the power of the most High God overshadowing her, and yet we oftentimes fail and neglect to recognize and even understand that there was an additional work which would take place there within the womb of Mary. While it was indeed true that the Holy Ghost would come upon Mary and that the power of the most High God would overshadow her, thus allowing the life of the Messiah to be planted and sown within her, there is another work which would take place there within the womb of Mary. Countless students, teachers and scholars of the Word of God tend to focus on the person and presence of the Holy Ghost in the supernatural and miraculous conception of Jesus within the womb of Mary, and yet so many miss and lose sight of the fact that the sowing and planting of the seed and life of the Messiah within that womb was only the beginning of the divine work of God within the womb of Mary. It was indeed true that the Holy Ghost would come upon Mary and allow her to conceive the life of the Messiah within her womb, however, there was a secondary work that would take place there within the womb of Mary—a work that was hidden and concealed away from the eyes of men. What makes this all the more intriguing and interesting when you take the time to think about and consider it is that this secondary work was essentially a continued touch of the eternal Father in heaven, and a continued investment of the Father in the life which was growing within the womb of Mary. There is absolutely no denying the fact that the life of the Messiah would indeed be planted within the womb of Mary, and there is no denying the fact that the life of the Messiah would grow within her womb, however, what we must needs recognize and understand is that the life of the Messiah which was present within the womb of Mary would indeed be formed and fashioned within her womb.

            Stop for a moment and think about how absolutely incredible this truly is, for it calls and forces us to acknowledge and come face to face with the fact that there was an initial work of the Holy Ghost within the womb of Mary as the Holy Ghost would come upon her, and together with the power of the most High overshadowing her would allow her to conceive within her womb the life of the Messiah. We know that for the next nine months the life of the Messiah and of the Christ would grow within the womb of Mary, however, what we must needs recognize and understand is that there was an additional part to the growth of the Messiah within the womb of Mary. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that the life of the Messiah and the life of the Christ would not grow of its own accord and simply by the nature of conceiving a child within the womb and the natural progression of growth within that womb. What we must needs understand and pay close and careful attention to when reading these words concerning the kingdom of heaven is that the seed of the life of the Messiah and Christ was planted and sown within the womb of Mary, and while that seed was present within the very depths of her womb an additional work would take place. Oh even as I am writing these words I can’t help but wonder which is the greater work—the Holy Ghost coming upon Mary and together with the power of the most High overshadowing her allowing her to conceive the life of the Messiah within the womb, or the very hands of the living and eternal Father forming and fashioning the life of the Messiah within the womb. If we truly believe the words which David wrote in the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms, as well as the words which the LORD spoke unto Jeremiah and were recorded in the prophetic book bearing his name, we must admit and acknowledge the fact that the life of the Messiah not only grew within the womb of Mary, but that life was also formed and fashioned. It is one thing to state that the life of the Messiah and the Christ simply grew within the womb of Mary, and yet I am convinced that such a statement entirely and altogether misses the tremendous and incredible work that took place in that secret and hidden place. I would dare say that it is not enough to simply state that the life of the Messiah grew within the womb of Mary, for we must also acknowledge the fact that the living and eternal Father was intimately involved with the growth of that life within the womb of Mary.

            As I write these words I feel it is absolutely necessary and imperative to consider the words which are found in the first and second chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke, as well as the words which are found in the first two chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, for what we find within these portions of Scripture are the main text surrounding the conception of the Messiah within the womb of Mary. What’s more, is I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must needs also consider the words which are found in the seventh and ninth chapters of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, for Isaiah prophesied according to the word of the LORD the birth of the Messiah—and not only the birth of the Messiah, but also the birth of the Messiah and His being brought forth into the earth from a virgin. There is something which we must needs recognize, acknowledge and understand when considering the life of the Messiah growing within the womb of Mary, for simply saying that the life of the Messiah grew within her womb is not enough, and in all reality it does a great disservice to the work which actually took place within the womb of Mary. It would be very easy to simply state that the seed of the life of the Messiah and Christ was implanted within the womb of Mary and that this resulted from the Holy Ghost coming upon her and the power of the most High overshadowing her. There is an underlying danger to simply focus solely on the fact that the seed of the life of the Messiah was implanted within the womb of Mary, and how that seed would grow over the course of the next nine months before the appointed time came for it to be brought forth in the midst of the earth. I am absolutely and completely convinced there is a great need within our hearts and spirits to not only recognize that the life of the Messiah grew within the womb of Mary, but that the hands of the eternal Father formed and fashioned that life within the womb. In fact, I would dare say that it is only as a direct result of the hands of the eternal Father forming and fashioning it.

            I sit here this morning writing these words and I can’t help but be absolutely and entirely gripped and captivated with the fact that it is indeed true that the life of the Messiah would in fact grow within the womb of Mary, however, that life which would grow within and inside of her would not grow of its own accord. Although the life which was present within the womb of Mary was indeed the life of the Messiah we dare not think and believe for a moment that this life would indeed grow of its own accord without the hands of the living and eternal Father being intimately involved in the formation and growth of the Messiah within the womb of Mary. Oh I am absolutely and completely convinced that the life of the Messiah was able to grow within the womb of Mary—not simply because of natural law, but because of the actual hands of the eternal Father being present within the womb of Mary as the hands of the living and eternal Father would form and fashion the life of the Messiah there in the womb. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this, for there is something to be said about the work of the Holy Ghost in allowing the life of the Messiah to be conceived within the womb of Mary, however, there is something else which also needs to be spoken of concerning this life being present within the womb of Mary—namely, the secondary work of the hands of the Father forming and fashioning that life within the womb. The act of the Holy Ghost coming upon Mary and the power of the most High overshadowing her thus allowing her to conceive the life of the Messiah was but a quick process that would undoubtedly take no time at all to carry out and complete. Although we don’t know for sure how long the Holy Ghost was upon Mary, and how long the power of the most High overshadowed her, we can be absolutely certain that the length of time in which this took place was far less than the actual work of forming and fashioning the life of the Messiah within the womb of Mary.

Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—it is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading these words and the life of the Messiah within the womb of Mary, for we know that the life of the Messiah was allowed to be conceived within the womb of this handmaiden of the LORD by a divine and supernatural act of God as the Holy Ghost came upon her, and the power of the most High overshadowed her. What we must needs recognize and understand when thinking about while considering this particular truth is that while it was indeed true that the life of the Messiah and the Christ was permitted to be conceived within the womb of Mary by a divine and supernatural act of the Holy Ghost, the growth of that life within the womb of Mary would take place and would be permitted by a secondary divine and supernatural act. There would be the initial supernatural and divine act of the Holy Ghost coming upon Mary and thus allowing her to conceive the life of the Messiah within her womb, however, there would be a secondary work that would take place within her womb—one that would not be a quick work, but one that would be a prolonged work. Not only this, but it would be this secondary work which would take place of the period of nine months. It might be safe to say that the initial work of the Holy Ghost coming upon Mary and together with the power of the most High overshadowing her might possibly have taken place in a moment’s time, however, when we think about the life of the Messiah growing within the womb of Mary, we must needs recognize and understand that this work was one that would take and require a tremendous amount of time from the living and eternal Father within the life and womb of Mary to cause this life to grow. For a period of nine months the hands of the Father would not only be present upon the physical body of Mary, but they would also be intimately involved within the growth and formation of the Messiah within that womb.

            With all of this in mind we must needs acknowledge and understand the incredibly awesome and powerful truth that while it was indeed true that the life of the Messiah being conceived within the womb of Mary was in and of itself a divine work of the Holy Ghost who came upon her—the work of forming that life within her womb would require additional care from the Father. What makes this even more astonishing when you take the time to truly consider it is when you think about the fact that for the next nine months the hands of the living and eternal Father would be present within the womb of Mary as He would deliberately and intentionally be invested in the formation and growth of His Son. If it is true that the living and eternal God formed and fashioned us within the wombs of our mothers—how much more do we, and how much more would we recognize and understand that the Father would form and fashion the life of the Messiah and the Christ within the womb of Mary. For a period of nine months the hands of the living and eternal Father would be intimately involved in the formation of the life of the Messiah within the womb of Mary, as He would carefully knit together the physical body and form of His Son within the womb. Oh from the moment the Holy Ghost came upon Mary, and from the moment the power of the most High overshadowed her there was life conceived within her womb, however, what would take place over the course of the next nine months was not necessarily the creation of life, but rather the formation of a physical form and physical body. What we must needs recognize and understand is that life was conceived within the womb of Mary the moment the Holy Ghost came upon her and the moment the power of the most High overshadowed her, and for the next months it would not be life that was created within her, but rather the shape and person of the Messiah. It is quite remarkable and incredible to think about and consider the fact that there would be the initial divine and supernatural work of the Holy Ghost within the womb of Mary—one that would cause life to be conceived within her—however, there would be a secondary work of the Father which would not necessarily create life, but to cause that life to grow.

            THE SUPERNATURAL WORK OF CONCEIVING LIFE! THE SUPERNATURAL WORK OF FORMING LIFE! THE SUPERNATURAL WORK OF CAUSING THAT LIFE TO GROW! I am writing these words and I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that it was the Holy Ghost which allowed and enabled Mary to conceive the life of the Christ within her womb, however, it was the eternal Father who caused that life to grow within her womb. The work of the Holy Ghost within the womb of Mary was that of enabling her to conceive the life of the Son, and essentially planting the seed of the Messiah within her womb, however, once that seed was planted within her womb the work of forming, fashioning and growing would take place. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of how absolutely incredible this truly is, for it forces us to acknowledge and understand just how intimately involved the hands of the Father truly were within the womb of Mary and upon the physical form and person of Mary. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the truth surrounding the hands of the eternal Father being present upon and present within the physical person of Mary. It is something truly worth thinking about and considering when reading these words concerning the kingdom of heaven and how it was likened unto a grain of mustard seed which was sown and planted in the earth, and which grew into a great tree which the fowls of the air could lodge in the branches thereof. Just as the kingdom of heaven was itself likened unto a grain of mustard seed which was planted in the earth and would grow into a tree, so also was the life of the Messiah sown and planted within the womb of Mary, and it would be there within that womb the life of the Messiah and Christ would indeed grow over the course of the next nine months. Oh how absolutely astonishing it is to think about and consider this particular truth, for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and powerful truth that for a period of nine months the life of the Messiah would not only grow within the womb of Mary, but would be formed and fashioned by hands of the Father.

            As I sit here today thinking about and considering the reality of the life of the Messiah present within the womb of Mary I cannot help but be brought face to face with the absolutely awesome and powerful truth surrounding that life and how it is one thing to say that the life of the Messiah grew within the womb of Mary, however, it is something else entirely and altogether different to think about and consider how that life was formed and fashioned within the womb of Mary. It is quite easy to simply state that the life of the Messiah would grow within the womb of Mary, however, it is something else altogether and entirely different to state that the life of the Messiah would be formed and fashioned within the womb of Mary. In all reality, I would dare say that the sole reason the life of the Messiah was able to grow within the womb of Mary was because of the intimate involvement of the living and eternal Father within and upon her physical body. The very fact that the life of the Messiah was permitted to grow within the womb of Mary is a testament and witness to the fact that the hands of the living and eternal Father were present within her womb and caused that life to grow. In fact, I would dare say that the only reason that life of the Messiah and Christ was able to grow within the womb of Mary was because of the hands of the Father forming and fashioning it within the womb. For a period of nine months the hands of the Father would form and fashion the shape and body which would house the life of the Messiah and the Christ. For a period of nine months the hands of the living and eternal Father would form and fashion the physical frame and body of the Messiah and Christ, thus allowing it to grow within the womb until the appointed time came for that physical body and form to be brought forth into the earth. Oh how truly incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about and consider it, for it forces us to acknowledge the fact that while there was the initial work of the Holy Ghost which came upon Mary and allowed her to conceive the life of the Son within her womb, there was a secondary work of the Father as He would form and fashion the physical body, the physical frame, and the physical temple of His Son there within the womb of Mary. It is with this in mind I now invite you to consider the following words which are found in the opening chapters of the New Testament gospel narratives written by the physician Luke and the apostle Matthew:

            “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the a ngel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS> He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the LORD God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold, the handmaid of the LORD; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:26-38).

            “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea unto the city of David, which is called Beth-lehem; (Because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over theif flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the LORD came upon them, and the glory of the LORD shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Beth-lehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the LORD hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them” (Luke 2:1-20).

            ”Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the LORD had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS” (Matthew 1:18-25).

            The words which we find here in these particular portions of Scripture are absolutely and incredibly astounding, for they bring us face to face with the tremendous truth that the life of the Messiah and of the Christ was conceived within the womb of Mary by and through an act of the Holy Ghost. The angel Gabriel would pronounce and proclaim unto Mary when she asked how she could conceive a child since she had known a man by declaring unto her that the Holy Ghost would come upon her, and the power of the most High would overshadow her. This particular narrative and account was found in the New Testament gospel which was written by the physician Luke, while in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew presents us with the angel appearing unto Joseph in a dream while he was minded to put away Mary privately upon learning she was pregnant. When the angel appeared unto Joseph, however, we find the angel emphatically declaring unto him that the life which was conceived within her came not from man, but rather was conceived with her of the Holy Ghost. What’s more, is that the angel would proclaim and declare unto Joseph that the child which was conceived within Mary was to be given the name JESUS, for He would save His people from their sins. In both of these cases and instances we find an angel of the LORD appearing unto Mary and Joseph separately and at different times and declaring that what was conceived within her womb was indeed the work of the Holy Ghost. It would be unto Mary the angel Gabriel would not only speak of the Holy Ghost coming upon her, but also the power of the most High overshadowing her. It would be unto Joseph the angel would declare how that which was and had already been conceived within her was of the Holy Ghost and would bear the name JESUS. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible this truth is, for when we think and speak about the life which was conceived within the womb of Mary we must needs recognize and understand that it was the work of the Holy Ghost which enabled that life to be conceived within her. It was the Holy Ghost which would come upon Mary and would ultimately enable and allow that life to be conceived within her womb.

            With all of this being said I find it absolutely incredible to consider the fact that while it was indeed an act of the Holy Ghost that allowed the life of JESUS to be conceived within the womb of Mary, it was the divine and supernatural act of God which caused that life to grow and to be formed and fashioned within the womb. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how truly remarkable it is, for it brings us face to face with the singular act of the Holy Ghost enabling Mary to conceive the life of the Messiah within her womb, as well as the continued and recurring act of the Father to form and fashion that life within the womb of Mary. It was indeed one single act of the Holy Ghost which came upon Mary and thus allowed her to conceive the life of the Messiah within her womb, however, it was a continued and recurring act of the Father to form and fashion that life within the womb of Mary. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when seeking to understand the life of the Christ within the womb of Mary, for while it was the Holy Ghost which implanted the seed and life of the Messiah within the womb of Mary, it was the Father that formed and fashioned the physical frame of His Son within the womb. Stop and think about that particular truth and reality, for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous fact that the living and eternal God would with His own hands form and fashion the physical frame and body of His own Son within the womb of Mary. For nine months the hands of the eternal Father would be intimately involved in the formation and growth of His Son within the womb of Mary as He would carefully knit Him together within the womb. We ought not think that just because the life growing within the womb of Mary was that of the eternal and only begotten Son that the Father was not intimately involved in forming and fashioning His frame and person within that womb. There is not a doubt in my mind that the hands of the Father were indeed and were in fact greatly and intimately involved in the forming of the physical frame and person of the Messiah within the womb of Mary, and for nine months would carefully weave that frame together.

            There is something to be said about this particular truth and reality, for when Jesus spoke of the kingdom of heaven He spoke of it as being likened unto a grain of mustard seed which was planted in the earth and would grow up to become a mighty tree. What’s more, is that Jesus would go on to speak about the kingdom of heaven being likened unto leaven which would be hidden in three measures of meal until it spread within and throughout all three containers. Essentially that which we learn and discover about the kingdom of heaven is that it is something which is sown and planted and grows into something mighty, and it something that is hidden and ultimately and eventually spreads. We have a great need to think about and consider this, for Jesus was sown and planted within he womb of Mary and would grow within that womb as the eternal Father would form and fashion His physical frame and person until He would be brought forth in the midst of the earth. Even after Jesus was born into this world He would grow all the more in secret and in the hidden and concealed places of Egpyt and Nazareth. For thirty years Jesus would be the Word made flesh and dwelt among us, and would dwell among us in secret. For thirty years the Word which was made flesh would indeed grow within the womb of Nazareth until the appointed time came when He would emerge from Nazareth would move throughout Galilee, Judaea, Jerusalem, and even the regions of Samaria and Tyre and Sidon. For thirty years the life of the Messiah would be hidden away in the town of Nazareth where He would continue to grow until the appointed time came when He would be brought forth from Nazareth and would be publicly manifested unto men within and throughout Galilee. For thirty years the life of the Messiah would continue to grow as the Father would continue to form and fashion His physical frame, thus causing Him to grow up and become the man He was destined, ordained and appointed to be.

            It is with all of this being said I can’t help but be reminded of something Jesus spoke and declared concerning the kingdom of heaven—something which I am convinced must be recognized and understood when seeking to understand the mystery of the kingdom. If you turn and direct your attention to the seventeenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke you will find the beloved physician writing of the Pharisees and how they demanded of Him when the kingdom of God should come into, within and upon the earth. IN response to their inquiry Jesus would emphatically state that the kingdom of God did not and would not come with observation, nor would anyone say concerning the kingdom, “Lo here,” or “Lo there.” Furthermore, Jesus would go on to emphatically declare that the kingdom of God was within them. There are some translations which translate “the kingdom of God is within you” as “the kingdom of God is among you.” I am absolutely convinced that these words are well worth our time considering, for these words call and draw our attention to the truth that the kingdom of heaven is not something that is or can be observed, but rather the kingdom of God is something that is both tangible and real within and among men. It is quite remarkable and astonishing to think about and consider the fact that just as the life of Jesus was conceived within the womb of Mary by a supernatural act of the Holy Ghost, so also is the kingdom of heaven conceived within the earth by a supernatural act of the Holy Ghost. What’s more, is that the kingdom of heaven within and upon the earth is formed, fashioned, and increased by the divine work of the eternal Father as He carefully knits it together and forms and fashions it according to His will, His divine design, and His divine purpose. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when attempting to understand the kingdom of heaven, for the kingdom of heaven is indeed and is in fact a wonderful and powerful manifestation of the person, presence and power of the Holy Spirit within our lives.

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close it is absolutely necessary that we call and draw our attention to the undeniable truth concerning the kingdom of heaven and how the kingdom of heaven is not only something that is within us, but it is also something that is among us. When we think about the kingdom of heaven we must needs recognize and understand that the kingdom of heaven is indeed and is in fact something which Jesus Himself came into the earth to establish and set up, and how it was something which was established in the midst of the Roman Empire. The kingdom of heaven was not something which came from observance, but the kingdom of heaven of heaven is something that is a tangible manifestation and expression within and among us. It’s interesting to note that the kingdom of heaven was introduced by John the Baptist when and as he declared that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the kingdom of heaven was indeed and was in fact manifested in the earth through the person of Jesus Christ. The kingdom of heaven was that which was sown into the earth—and not only sown into the earth, but even sown within the Roman Empire—and would eventually grow into something that would fill the whole earth. In the Old Testament we find and read of the knowledge of the LORD and the glory of the Lord filling the whole earth, however, we also read in the prophetic book of Daniel of a kingdom which was not hewn or established by man, but rather was something that was ordained, appointed and sent by the eternal God in heaven within and upon the earth. The kingdom of heaven was indeed and was in fact something that was sent and sown into the earth and would eventually and ultimately grow into something that would not only be present within the earth, but would also completely fill the earth. When we think about the kingdom of heaven we must needs recognize that it is something which like a seed is sown into perhaps the most unlikely of places, and into perhaps those places we would not think it would be manifested. It’s quite astonishing to think about how the kingdom of heaven would be manifested unto and among publicans, prostitutes, sinners, the poor, and others who were marginalized, vilified and those whom society would not think the kingdom of heaven would or should be manifested unto.

            In bringing this particular writing to a close it is absolutely necessary and imperative that I leave you with the words which are found in the second chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Daniel, for the interpretation of the dream which Nebuchadnezzar received is such that not only highlights and underscores powerful truths around the succession and emergence of empires, but also the absolutely wonderful and powerful reality surrounding the manifestation of the kingdom of God which comes not from man, nor which is raised up and set apart by men, but by the living and eternal God alone. If there is one thing we must needs realize and understand concerning the interpretation of the dream which Nebuchadnezzar dreamt it’s that not only would the kingdom of heaven break in pieces and utterly destroy all the other kingdoms and empires in the earth, but it would also grow and spread within and upon the earth until it became a mountain that both covered and filled the earth. It is this reality that is in direct alignment with the words which Jesus taught His disciples to pray when He instructed them to pray and ask the Father, saying, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.” What’s more, is it that this reality found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Daniel is in direct alignment with the words which Jesus taught His disciples concerning worry, doubt and anxiety, for Jesus instructed His disciples to “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Oh we have a great need to recognize and understand how incredibly important and powerful this truly is, for it forces us to acknowledge the presence of the kingdom within and upon the earth, and how the kingdom of heaven is not only that which breaks in pieces and subdues the kingdoms and empires of the earth, but also as it completely fills the whole earth becoming the greatest kingdom to ever be found within and upon the earth. With this in mind I leave you with the words which are found in the second chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel, as well as the words which are found in the final chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ concerning the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, as well as the image of the new heavens, the new earth and the new Jerusalem which would come down from heaven and be manifested within and upon the earth:

            “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of the potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partyl strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Daniel 2:31-45).

            “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Revelation 20:1-3).

            “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I john saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with  men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall e his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:1-7).

            “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even lie a jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel: on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talkd with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth, and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length  and the breadeth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrystolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprauss; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve perals; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:9-27).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s