Giving Birth to Jesus
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.
Has someone given birth to Jesus in you? Is this a work in progress?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.