I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.
–2 Samuel 7:12
How did the first coming of Christ happen? Paul told us in Galatians 4:4: “[Jesus was] born of a woman.” What is the big deal about that? First of all, this is a reference to Jesus’s virgin birth. Jesus was born of a woman, but He was unique in that He was born only of a woman. His Father was God Himself. Why is that essential? It is the only way He would be qualified to be the Messiah and to sit on the throne of David forever. In 2 Samuel 7:12, God said to David, “I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.” Every Jew knew the Messiah had to be a descendant of David. That is why Matthew 1 goes through that long genealogy all the way from David through Joseph down to Jesus, to show how Jesus was qualified to be the Messiah. But here is the problem: One of David’s descendants was a king named Jeconiah, and Jeconiah was so evil that God pronounced a curse on him. In Jeremiah 22:30, God said, in essence, “Jeconiah, because of your disobedience I am going to curse your descendants so that nobody who comes after you can sit on the throne of David and rule with prosperity.” That presented a real problem. The Messiah had to be related to King David, but He could not be a descendant of Jeconiah. So how do you have a Messiah who inherits the right to rule from David but escapes the curse of Jeconiah? There was only one way: through a virgin birth. By not having a biological father, Jesus escaped the curse of Jeconiah. But as Jesus’s legal guardian, Joseph was still able to pass on the right to rule to his son. Who could have come up with a plan like that except God Himself?
I think the phrase “born of a woman” in Galatians 4:4 is also a reference to the humanity of Jesus. Jesus did not come into the world as some other-worldly alien. No, He came as a human being. Because of that, He is able to understand you and me. I think of a six-year-old boy who is in the backyard shooting baskets, but he keeps falling short. His father comes out and says, “Son, let me show you how to do this.” He shoots the ball and–swish! It goes right through the hoop. He shoots a second time. Swish! Again and again he makes the shot. Finally the boy is so frustrated, he says, “Dad, it’s easy for you up there, but you don’t know how hard it is for those of us down here.” The same can never be said about God. There is nothing you experience–no heartache, no temptation, no disappointment–that Jesus has not already experienced. That is why the writer of Hebrews said, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (4:15-16). No matter what you are going through, you can talk to Jesus about it, knowing He understands.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Simply Christmas” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org