A few nights ago I was holding my newborn baby (Ransom James) in my arms and trying to comfort him while he was crying and fussing about, and it dawned on me that even in infancy, my child has a great sympathizer (Hebrews 4:15): God, who took on humanity and was born of a woman, who like all infants dealt with poopy diapers (or whatever they wore back then), crying fits, fusses, discomforts, and all other things quintessential to life as a baby.
God became flesh, and was born of Mary his mother. Before he was born, he had to be conceived by the Holy Spirit, and he had to be carried in his mother’s womb. God was carried by his mother to birth, and was birthed by his mother to the world, and was swaddled, and comforted, and kept warm by the heat of his parents, held close and comforted by their heartbeats.
The Nicene Creed says of Jesus, the Son:
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
Very God of Very God became very Man of very Man – which means that Jesus was at one point in his life very fetus of very fetus, and then very infant of very infant. What does this mean? God, in the person and work of Jesus is truly our great sympathizer because he too was once an infant. Hebrews 2:17 says that Jesus had to be made like us in every respect: this respect includes being human from conception, and from infancy, on through puberty and adolescence to adulthood. As human as you and my son and I are is as human as Jesus became and is today as he sits at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 8:1-2). God the Son took on everything that is essential and proper to being a human being. Jesus did all these things according to his humanity: there were no divine shortcuts to the cross. He didn’t skip any steps. He in his humanity started from day 1 as a person in the womb (Philippians 2:7) the same way you and I did and grew from infancy into adulthood. Is this not amazing that God should become like us in every respect so that he might become our ransom for us? How humiliating! How lowly! How humble! How surprising! How glorious!
That’s the Jesus we worship, the Jesus who humbled himself to death, even to death upon a cross, even from the humiliation of being a completely helpless infant relying on his earthly mother and father to care for him. God became a man, and to do so he had to become an infant: fullness of God in helpless babe (Colossians 1:19).
Praise the Lord!