Is Mary the “biological mother” of Jesus, or was she simply an incubator of sorts?
This subject touches many issues regarding not just Christology (the doctrine of Christ – godhead) but also Soteriology (the doctrine of salvation). Not long ago, our UPCI organization agonized over and prayerfully dealt with this doctrine in a particular form known by most as the “Divine Flesh” doctrine. While space limits prevent me from going into the history of that crisis, suffice it to say one cannot be a licensed minister in fellowship with the UPCI and believe this particular heresy. Our organization holds this issue in high regard because it touches critical doctrines including the incarnation as well as the doctrine of atonement.
Jesus was predetermined to be born as a man in order to be the Messiah as shown in Romans 8:29. This was so as a man in covenant, we could be like Him in covenant. We know that 1 Tim. 2:5 says, “For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” which shows God had to become man to bring about salvation.
But further, Christ had to be LIKE US to be our SUBSTITUTE and High Priest. Heb. 4:15 shows this saying He, “…was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” The point is He was tempted in ALL points exactly LIKE we are! Further, Heb. 2:17 says, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest…” This shows He was made LIKE us in ALL THINGS so He could qualify as our High Priest.
More particularly, Gen. 3:15 says, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed…” Notice here it’s even clearer that it’s “the seed of the WOMAN.” This closes the door on any possibility of Jesus having “another flesh” or Mary being a mere “incubator” for Jesus. This is affirmed as well in Matthew 1 where he spends time tracing Jesus’ lineage through Mary to Abraham showing the fulfilled promise both to the forefathers or patriarchs (Abraham) and to David the King. Again, this shows the genetic connection is critical. In the Gospels, Jesus is said to be the “son of David” 15 times which can only be if He was truly from the lineage of David through Mary’s genes.
The point is Jesus had to be a human being just like us, with the specific genetic and lineage connection, in order to be our Messiah. Without that we would have no mediator (1 Tim. 2:5).