The Genesis of Jesus -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 122:488 (Oct 1965)
Article: The Genesis of Jesus
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.


The Genesis of Jesus

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

[S. Lewis Johnson, Jr., Department Chairman and Professor, New Testament Literature and Exegesis, Dallas Theological Seminary.]

To a world prepared politically, economically, morally, and spiritually Jesus came. “There is a tide in the affairs of men,” wrote Shakespeare, “which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.” His time was God’s time. Paul sensed this, for he wrote, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal 4:4).

Not only were the circumstances of the entrance of the Messiah providentially arranged, but His birth also was a miracle. Matthew, who has written the royal gospel, has taken pains to point this out. There must be no question that the words of the superscription above the cross, a climactic note in the sweep of the gospel’s thought, are true. He really was “Jesus the King of the Jews” (Matt 27:37).

The accounts of the birth of the Messiah are written from different standpoints, but they each agree in the fact and in the manner of His birth. In the Matthaean narrative it is stated twice that Mary’s conception was “of the Holy Ghost” (1:18, 20). Luke, who gives more detail concerning the birth itself, writes: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also

that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (1:35). Both accounts unite in the affirmation that He was “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary” (Apostles’ Creed). While Mark does not expressly assert the virgin birth, his gospel is in harmony with it. He opens his narrative by referring to Jesus as “the Son of God” (1:1).1 Later one comes across the term “son of Mary,”2 but Mark never calls Him “son of Joseph.”3 John, too, agrees, for we hear our Lord saying, “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:23; cf. 1:1, 14).

The Objections to the King’s Supernatural Birth

The mythological objection....

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