Questions From Readers
Did the imperfection of the virgin girl Mary have a negative effect on the conception of Jesus?
Concerning “the birth of Jesus,” the inspired record says: “During the time his mother Mary was promised in marriage to Joseph, she was found to be pregnant by holy spirit before they were united.” (Matthew 1:18) Indeed, God’s holy spirit played a pivotal role in Mary’s pregnancy.
What, though, about Mary? Did her egg cell, or ovum, contribute at all toward her pregnancy? In view of God’s promises made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and King David—Mary’s forefathers—the child born would have to be their genuine descendant. (Genesis 22:18; 26:24; 28:10-14; 49:10; 2 Samuel 7:16) How else could the child born to Mary be a rightful heir of those divine promises? He would have to be her actual son.—Luke 3:23-34.
Jehovah’s angel had appeared to the virgin girl Mary, saying: “Have no fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God; and, look! you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you are to call his name Jesus.” (Luke 1:30, 31) Conception requires that an egg become fertile. Apparently, Jehovah God caused an ovum in Mary’s womb to become fertile, accomplishing this by the transferal of the life of his only-begotten Son from the spirit realm to earth.—Galatians 4:4.
Could a child conceived in this way by an imperfect woman be perfect and free from sin in his physical organism? How do the laws of heredity work when there is a union of perfection with imperfection? Remember that holy spirit was employed in transferring the perfect life force of God’s Son and causing the conception. This canceled out any imperfection existing in Mary’s ovum, thereby producing a genetic pattern that was perfect from its start.
In any case, we can be certain that the operation of God’s holy spirit at that time guaranteed the success of God’s purpose. The angel Gabriel had explained to Mary: “Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. For that reason also what is born will be called holy, God’s Son.” (Luke 1:35) Yes, God’s holy spirit formed, as it were, a protective wall so that no imperfection or hurtful force could blemish the developing embryo from conception on.
Clearly, Jesus owed his perfect human life to his heavenly Father, not to any man. Jehovah “prepared a body” for him, and Jesus—from conception onward—was truly “undefiled, separated from the sinners.”—Hebrews 7:26; 10:5.
[Picture on page 19]
“You will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son”