A co-worker asked me an interesting question. Apparently she has been reading 1 Corinthians so she had some questions about head coverings for women, the role of men and women, dealing with marriage, sex, children and so on. At some point or the other we all have questioned the meaning of some things in Paul’s letters but that wasn’t what caught my attention. She asked me if God’s original intention was for us to reproduce in some way other than the usual outer physical way, and she pointed to Mary and Jesus’ virgin birth wondering if that was how it would be if man hadn’t fallen.
When it comes to things not directly told to us in the Bible it may be risky to speculate but let’s think about this for a minute. An interesting point is it isn’t until after the fall in the Garden that we read where Adam knew Eve and she gave birth. With that being said let me see if I remember the basis of our conversation today. We talked about how God is Spirit and Jesus said, “That which is flesh is flesh and that which is Spirit is spirit.” So flesh gives birth to flesh and Spirit to spirit so when it comes to reproducing all a fallen man and woman can do is produce a flesh child. This is why we have to be born-again, or born from above, of God’s Spirit. He’s the only one that can reproduce after his kind.
I reminded her of the story of Abraham and how God promised him a seed. In a way this is an illustration that pointed toward Jesus’ birth because Abraham was an old man and Sarah, his wife, was barren. So God was promising Abraham something that would be impossible for him to accomplish without supernatural intervention from God himself. God was going to provide a child to Abraham and Sarah, although they would “know” each other in the usual human way it was only because of God’s promise and miraculous power that Sarah would conceive the child.
The story of Samson is similar in that his mother, even though barren, had a visitation from an angel who told her she was going to have a son. So, like the previous story of Abraham and Sarah, here Samson’s mother would be involved in a supernatural birth, giving us another glimpse into the way in which Jesus would come into the world.
If we jump on into the New Covenant we read of another woman, Elizabeth, who was also barren and advanced in years. She was given the promise of a son who turned out to be John the Baptist. Then we come to Jesus himself and we know that Mary, his mother, was a virgin and had not been with a man. This, of course, was necessary in order to prevent Jesus from inheriting sin like the rest of us.
With that being said let’s look again at the beginning. If you read in Genesis 2:21-22 “God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which he had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.” If we look at v. 23 we see where Adam named her “Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” In other words, the female counterpart to Adam was within him and now she’s beside him. Again in 1 Corinthians 11:8 it says, “For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man.”
Could there be another reason why God has us to reproduce in the manner we do? Think with me for a minute. According to what we’ve already talked about, apparently Eve was within Adam so the two were one. Just before the fall of man in Genesis 3 God causes a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and when he awakens he’s no longer one but two, Adam and Eve. If the enemy would have gotten to Adam before the separation of the two there would have been no hope for fallen man because sin/Satan would have corrupted mankind completely with no avenue for the seed of the woman to bring about the Savior. It seems, once again, God is way ahead of the enemy because he knows the end from the beginning. God obviously already knew what the enemy was up to so he took some preventative action in order to preserve the human race. Not only that he actually worked through the separation of male and female and used it to bring about our salvation. What an awesome God we have!
No matter how we look at this subject one thing remains. Jesus said, “That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6 KJV)