Jesus' Heavenly Birth
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48. Jesus' Heavenly Birth
Revelation 12.1-5

"A great Heavenly sign appeared, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was to give birth. Then another heavenly sign appeared, an enormous red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns on its heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who 'will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.' And her child was snatched up to God and his throne." (Revelation 12.1-5)✞

Who was the woman clothed with the sun?

Baby JesusHuman birth is a special moment for the mother, father, and the family. Here, the writer describes the immense significance of Jesus' birth. In this passage, the mother is a "woman clothed with the sun, moon, and stars." These represent God's faithful people waiting for the Messiah. "A crown of twelve stars" over her head indicates the tribes of Israel or the twelve apostles. God set apart the Jews for himself, and that nation gives birth to the Messiah, born in Bethlehem in Judea. Another modern Christian view is that this is the Virgin Mary. Christian artists portray Jesus' mother as a blue-robed woman with 12 stars like a halo over her head.

What was Jesus' historical birth?

We can compare this episode with what we know of Jesus Christ of Nazareth's historical birth. Jesus' earthly birth by the Holy Spirit's action was as a "male child" born to a devout young Jewish woman named Mary, who was a virgin. King Herod immediately tried to destroy the baby. Herod saw him as a threat to his throne but was motivated by Satan portrayed in Revelation as the "enormous red dragon," wanting to kill him.

What is the cosmic significance of Jesus' birth?

Holy Family in BethlehemThis heavenly pageant pictures Christ's quiet birth in Bethlehem. The name Bethlehem means "the house of bread" in Hebrew and the "house of meat" in Arabic. Bethlehem was also King David's birthplace. Today, it is a Palestinian West Bank town. In its time, Bethlehem had the same cosmic significance as Jesus' birth in heaven. This Revelation narrative corresponds to a strange ancient myth that a horrible monster pursues a pregnant goddess saved only by miraculous intervention. She bears a son who then kills the beast. On the other hand, Jesus' story is no myth but a historical occurrence with a cosmic significance.✞

What was the seven-headed dragon?

Red DragonRevelation describes the seven-headed dragon's coming. The male child Jesus' birth occurs, but he is protected. The "dragon" in Greek "Therion" refers to one of two beasts in Revelation. The abyss dragon gives the first beast "out of the sea" authority and power. The second beast, the "false prophet," comes "from the earth." The dragon has seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns, representing his power and the world's kingdoms over which he rules. The stars that plunge to earth with the seven-headed dragon are the wicked angels or demons who fall with Satan. The "dragon" is the symbol of all the evil earthly forces. The phrase "an iron scepter" may equally mean "a rod of iron."

What is Christ's ascension?

Child Chased by DragonRevelation 12.5 describes how " God snatches up her child," a reference to Christ's ascension. The woman finds spiritual rest from the dragon in the desert, which is the afflicted's traditional refuge. Because God aids the woman's escape, we can be sure that he offers security to all other true believers. God keeps everyone secure.

"What was Jesus' heavenly birth?"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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