Some 2,000 years ago something unique in the annals of history and to the experience of the universe occurred. Paul describes the event in these words: “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4, 5). He refers, of course, to the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Space permits us to examine only one phrase from these two seminal verses: “made of a woman.” At a glance, this phrase may seem absolutely simple and unremarkable, but a second look reveals that it contains an ocean of profound truth.
It declares Christ’s humanity. “Made [“caused to be,” i.e., “born”] of a woman,” we read. That statement says one thing quite plainly. The one born was a human being. No other kind of being has been born of a woman. Even the perverted rationalizations of the evolutionists will not go so far as to suggest that changes in species occur during the period between conception and birth. They acknowledge, albeit often grudgingly, that all creatures produce after their kind. Wherever or however they believe evolution to occur, it does not occur during the process involving the mother and her fetus. Of course, evolution does not occur at all. The point is that Paul’s statement that Christ was born of a woman requires an honest reader to acknowledge that Christ was altogether a man.
It declares Christ’s deity. This may not be so immediately obvious as the preceding idea. But when we stop to think about it, this statement is truly remarkable—exceptionally powerful in its simplicity. It would not seem strange, for example, to say that “So-and-so was born to a woman in Detroit.” That phraseology is simply a way to express the location of the birth. Similarly, it would not have been strange for Paul to write that “Jesus was born to a woman in Bethlehem—except for two things. First, when the name of the mother is so renowned. In such a case, to omit Mary’s name seems peculiar, if not even mildly insulting—unless its omission serves a specific purpose. But, of course, it does serve a purpose. The omission of her name is a reminder that the fact of Christ’s human heritage is not the sole purpose of this declaration. It is a tacit declaration of the deity of Christ. John stated it thus: “And the Word was made [a cognate of the verb in our text] flesh and dwelt among us” (1:14). Both John and Paul are declaring the deity of Christ. Second, when we consider common usage. As stated earlier, it would be perfectly natural to speak of Christ as being born of a woman in Bethlehem, as a means of establishing His place of birth. But absent the location, the phrase properly strikes us as odd. For example, the statement, “George Washington was born of a woman and became the first President of the United States,” sounds rightly ludicrous to us, as does the statement, “Thomas Edison, born of a woman, grew up to be the greatest inventor in American history.” Without the name of the woman or the location of the birth, we would never expect to use the phrase. And yet Paul does. And the fact that he does so indicates that in this instance being “made of a woman” describes a unique fact. This was not a typical birth; it is Paul’s way of emphasizing the fact that this birth was not merely the birth of another human being: in the birth of Christ, very God became very man. Eternal Deity took on human flesh.
Only God could pack such a wealth of truth into such a small phrase. Only God could envision His Son taking on human flesh. And only God could and would provide such a gracious plan to redeem and deliver us sinners from our sin.
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