When I say giving birth to Jesus, I’m not talking about Mary in a Bethlehem stable, birthing our savior into this world in human form. Instead I’m referring to birthing Jesus in a spiritual sense, of giving him to others.
When Paul writes to the church in the city of Galatia he uses an intriguing word picture. He envisions himself in spiritual labor, feeling the pains of childbirth. When the birthing process is complete, Paul will have fully formed Jesus (Christ) in the Galatian church.
This interesting concept expresses the result of following Jesus. We transform into him and become more like Christ. Look at how different translations communicate this birthing process:
- “…until Christ is fully developed in your lives” (NLT)
- “…until Christ’s life becomes visible in your lives” (The Message)
- “…until Christ is formed in you” (NIV, NASB, NKJV)
- “…until Christ may be seen living in you” (CEV)
- “…until Christ is completely and permanently formed within you” (Amp)
Paul’s desire to impart Jesus to them isn’t a casual effort. It emerges as imperative labor, one requiring travail and involving struggle. The result is a beautiful new life—in Jesus.
[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Galatians 4-6, and today’s post is on Galatians 4:19]
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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