The Incarnation is a vital part of the Gospel message, as it is about the way that the Lord Jesus Christ was born. Of course, we usually think about it at Christmas, but it is an appropriate theme for anytime.
What does it actually mean? Very simply, God came to earth as a human being in the person of Jesus – he was born as a baby as every other baby, but one vital difference. He had no biological father. The Holy Spirit placed him inside Mary. And yes, that is a miracle. Joseph did become his adoptive father when he had married Mary, but essentially he was God. Some words of Charles Wesley sum it up:
“Our God contracted to a span,
Incomprehensibly made man.”
And he came with a purpose. The angel said this to Joseph:
‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ Matthew 1: 20 – 21 (NIV)
Jesus came to bring salvation, and that is the good news of the Gospel. Over the next few days we will concentrate on 3 of the names he was given.