Tuesdays with Yeshua: Why I Think My Pastor Is Wrong (Part 1)

Oh no. I don’t think he’s wrong about everything. If I thought that, I probably wouldn’t be a member of that church for very long. It’s just this one particular thing he said one day not too long ago in a Sunday School class that I don’t buy: “Jesus had none of Mary’s DNA inside His body.”

DNA model, with individual molecules
The structure of human DNA, complete with strands of connected molecules

 

Here’s the pastor’s theory: If Jesus’ body had contained ANY of Mary’s DNA, then He couldn’t possibly be sinless, and we know that He was (2 Corinthians 5:21). He’s saying this because Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden (Original Sin) was passed down to all humans who came after him, since he was the father of all. So, by that line of thinking, Mary was a sinful human (and I do believe she was), so sin would be passed down into Jesus’ body through her DNA.DNA in motion

But, see, here’s the problem I have with this thought that Jesus didn’t have any of Mary’s DNA at all: Jesus was fully God and fully Man – with the capability to fall, just like any other man (if He didn’t have that capability, why did Satan bother to tempt Him in Matthew 4?).  But He was God, so He had the supernatural power and capacity to withstand every temptation, which is why He never did sin, even if He did have the sin nature (via Original Sin) in Him.

But… what if He DIDN’T have Original Sin inside Him, even though He had a human (sinful) mother and even if He DID receive her very human genes? Stick with me here. I’m going to get VERY technical and a little scientific.

There are those who believe (and I’m starting to agree with them) that Original Sin is passed down from the FATHER to the son or daughter, not the mother. Consider what Paul writes in his letter to the Romans: “Therefore, just as through one MAN sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Do you see that? One MAN – Adam. Go back to the story in Genesis 3 with me for just a moment.

There’s the tree in this garden that God told Adam not to eat from back in Genesis 2:5, before Eve was created. Then we have Eve standing beside that tree (make no mistake about it, though, Adam was right there with her, as verse 6 tells us) with the snake who twists what Eve knows to be true (apparently Adam, at some point, passed God’s warning down to her), she’s tempted, and she takes the fruit that she knows she’s not supposed to have. She commits the first sin. But Paul doesn’t say that sin entered the world through her. No, sin entered the world through Adam. So what actually happened when sin entered the world through Adam? I did a Google search and came up with a theory that made an awful lot of sense – much more sense than the notion that God just used Mary’s body as a carrier for his completely supernaturally created child, with fresh DNA that was not related at all to Mary’s.

Original sin, as conceived by Irenaeus, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin

This idea is termed Federal Headship – a man (the father) represents his descendants. Consider what the writer of Hebrews said in verses 9 and 10 of chapter 7: “In addition, we might even say that Levi’s descendants, the ones who collect the tithe, paid a tithe to Melchizedek through their ancestor Abraham. For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s loins when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him.” Levi, Abraham’s great-grandson who wasn’t even born yet, paid the tithe through Abraham because his seed (the DNA, or genetic material from which he was made up) existed inside Abraham. And Abraham was Adam’s 17thGreatGrandson; thus, it could be said that the Original Sin that marred Adam’s flesh and spirit after he disobeyed God also affected Abraham (and all the rest of us) because Abraham’s seed (DNA) was already inside Adam when he sinned.

And, consider Yeshua (Jesus). His father was not Joseph (not biologically, anyway). His biological father was God Himself, impregnating Mary through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. God was Yeshua’s Federal Head; therefore, there was no Original Sin to be passed down to the very human body of the baby Yeshua.

So, you say, “That’s all well and good, but if Mary inherited the sin nature from Adam, as we all did, then why wouldn’t she pass it on to her son?” Good question. Next week, we’ll look at the process of genetics, especially as it relates to male/female chromosomes.

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