God With Us, Even Before Birth
by Mark Ramsey on December 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. [Isaiah 7:14, NKJV]
Most of you are familiar with this passage from Isaiah, written hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, prophesying the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Fast forward from that prophecy to a little over 2000 years ago. Elizabeth was “great with child” (John the Baptist), and Mary was now expecting Jesus. Mary went to visit her relative Elizabeth.
The Gospel of Luke, usually the most detailed of the Gospels and passed down in Latin, records that:
39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:39-45
One commentary I read speculated that outside of Mary and Joseph, the first person to recognize Jesus (yet unborn), was John the Baptist (also unborn but a few months older).
Now slow forward a few months to the birth of Jesus. One of the key passages recording His birth is found in Luke chapter two:
2 1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[a] who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” [Luke 2:1-12 NKJV]
Note carefully what the Angels told the shepards—“You will find a Babe…” Does this ring any bells? It should. John the Baptist was the “babe [who] leaped in her [Elizabeth’s] womb”. The newborn Babe [Jesus] would be found “in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
The word in both passages, describing both the born and unborn, is babe in the NKJV. More stunning, the Greek it comes from, a far more descriptive language than modern English, uses the same word βρέφος (brephos, Strong’s reference G1025) both places! Even more, the early Latin “fetus”, (before the pro-abortion revisionists have tried to change a dead language), is used for both born and unborn child—no difference! Please let that sink in.
We wish each and every one of you a Merry and Meaningful Christmas!
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”