By Craig Bluemel
Pregnancy starts when a male’s sperm fertilizes a female’s ovum (egg), and the fertilized ovum implants in the lining of the uterus. Mary became pregnant when God created a sperm cell in her mature egg after the egg was released by one of her ovaries, and traveled down her Fallopian tube toward the uterus. Because pregnancy changes a woman’s normal hormone patterns, one of the first signs of pregnancy is a missed menstrual period. When Mary missed her period, she realized her pregnancy had already begun.
Matthew 1:18-25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, " Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived (procreated) in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. NASU
Reproduction is the process whereby all living organisms produce offspring and is one of the essential functions of plants, animals, and single celled organisms. In the healthy human reproductive cycle a number of single-celled organisms multiply through conjugation (sexual intercourse) in a complex design that corresponds to fertilization. This occurs when two related (i.e. – “like”) one-celled life forms called ‘organisms’ combine by fusion, exchange nucleic properties, and then break apart. Each organism then makes a replica by fission.
The author of the Book of Hebrews describes Jesus the man as being, “…made LIKE his brethren in ALL things.” Why did God the Father procreate Jesus by using the human reproductive cycle instead of making him from the dust of the earth as He also made Adam, the first man? The answer to this question is clearly stated in the context of Hebrews 2:14-17; concerning Jesus again he says, “… that he (Jesus) might BECOME a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God… since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”
Jesus shared in the same flesh and blood as his brethren so he could be tempted, tried and tested, overcome, and in THIS WAY become a truly sympathetic High Priest.
Hebrews 2:14-17 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant (spérmatos) of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. NASU
In Hebrews 2:17 the Greek words translated as, “He had to be made like His brethren in all things,” is, “homoiootheénai hína pánta toís adelfoís.” The Greek word homoiootheénai means, “to be or become like.” The Greek word pánta (adverbially), means, “wholly, altogether, in all ways, in all things, in all respects,” as it is used in Acts 20:35. Therefore Jesus the man was made to be like his brethren in all ways, in all respects, in all things, wholly and altogether.” There’s no doubt from this passages definitions that Jesus was conceived and born as part of the process used to insure he fulfills this description of him.
In the beginning God designed human conjugation as the method of sexual reproduction by which living organisms include the genetic cellular make-up from both male and female reproductive cells called ‘gametes.’ These gametes unite to form a single cell, known as a ‘zygote,’ which later undergoes successive divisions to form a new organism that grows into an unborn child in the womb. The terms fecundation and fertilization are applied to the union of the male and female cells. In this form of sexual reproduction, half the genes, the carriers of inheritable characteristics, in the zygote come from one parent and half from the other parent.
The human male reproductive cell, which is known as a sperm, is a motile cell with a head containing the nucleus and a whip like tail with which it swims. The human female reproductive cell, which is known as an egg or ovum, is a rounded cell many times larger than the sperm and containing large amounts of cytoplasm surrounding the nucleus.
The internal deposit of semen occurs in the process of copulation, also known as coitus or sexual intercourse. The male inserts the male genital organ, the penis, into the female genital orifice, the vagina, discharging the semen therein. This process is known as insemination. Obviously God did not use copulation to produce the motile sperm cell thru insemination. Instead, in a haze of brilliancy His spirit surrounded Mary as He effortlessly created the male gamete cell within the fertile egg of this virgin woman. The male gamete that God created subsisted with all the necessary DNA molecules to produce a male human being, including allelomorphic and mitochondria properties.
Modern medical science has developed a method of insemination whereby both animal and human spermatozoa can be kept alive outside the body for long periods by freezing. Artificially introduced into the female reproductive tract, such spermatozoa produce pregnancy in a remarkably high percentage of healthy women. For many decades now the method, called artificial insemination, has been used successfully in many animal species, including human reproduction, to produce offspring where either the male or the female is sterile.
Should we think the Creator of the universe incapable of producing the male gamete cell necessary for the procreation of Jesus? Why do Christians spiritualize this event beyond reason when mere mortal humans have demonstrated skill and success with artificial insemination?
The human female normally has a 28-day reproductive or menstrual cycle, with ovulation usually occurring about 14 days before the onset of the menstruation. Menstruation is the periodic vaginal discharge in humans and other mammals, which consists of blood and cells shed from the endometrium, or lining of the uterus. Menstruation accompanies a woman's childbearing years, usually beginning between the ages of 10 and 16, at puberty, and most often ceasing between the ages of 45 and 50, at menopause. Menstruation is part of the process that prepares a woman for pregnancy. Each month the lining of the uterus thickens; if pregnancy does not occur, this lining breaks down and is discharged through the vagina. The three to seven days that menstruation lasts is called the menstrual period.
Mary was the young virgin chosen by God to bear the male child He would call His son Jesus. She was most likely between the ages of 16-18 and was in her childbearing years. It was no big deal for God to determine the time of her menstrual cycle. In most women the menstrual cycle is about 28 days, but it can vary considerably even from one month to another.
Hormones in her bloodstream initiate a woman’s menstrual cycle; these hormones stimulate the ovaries, which are the two female organs that produce the ova, aka eggs. Each month, hormones cause an egg in one of the two ovaries to mature and become capable of being fertilized and develop into a fetus. The ovaries also produce hormones of their own, primarily estrogen, which cause the endometrium to thicken. About midway through the menstrual cycle, 14 to 15 days before the next period, the ovary releases the mature egg in a process called ovulation. The egg passes through the Fallopian tube to the uterus. If the egg unites with a sperm on its way to the uterus, fertilization occurs and pregnancy ensues.
During Mary’s ovulation one of her ovary released a mature egg that passed through her Fallopian tube on its way to the uterus; at the instant this happened, God created a sperm cell perfectly compatible and able to unite with the egg; fertilization occurred and the infant Jesus was procreated. This is the exact description of the scientific process that occurred.
The three to five days the egg takes to reach the uterus after being released by the ovary is known as the woman's fertile period. If fertilization does occur, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the enriched uterine lining and pregnancy continues. Menstruation does not occur during pregnancy, and a missed period is often the first indication of pregnancy a woman notices. If fertilization does not occur, the lining of the uterus does not receive the hormones it needs to continue the thickening process. Thus, the uterine lining breaks down and is discharged from the body during menstruation.
After fertilization of the egg, the resulting zygote undergoes cell division and differentiation to form the embryo. The embryo is implanted in the uterus and is nourished by the mother until almost completely developed. The period during which pregnant women carry their young internally is known as the period of gestation.
In humans the period of years during which reproduction can occur begins with the onset of puberty, and the reproductive capacity of the female ends at what is known as menopause, or when menstruation ceases.
So this is how I reconcile the processes used; Mary’s ovulation was normal and typical; her ovary released a mature egg, as it traveled down the Fallopian tube, God inseminated the egg by creating the gamete cell that would unite with her fertile egg, making it now a fertilized egg, which then attached itself to the uterine wall, and the pregnancy began.