“Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20
The movie “The Princess Bride” is one of those timeless classics with phrases that make me think of the movie every time I hear it. Each time Wallace Shawn (Vizzini – thank you Imdb.com) utters “that would be inconceivable!” with his sharp lisp, he etches the word into my brain with his superb smile. For him, it was inconceivable for their tribe to be followed. Vizzini was so sure of his own intellect, each time he was questioned, his response was “inconceivable!”.
Conceive has multiple meanings. For Mary it means she became pregnant. Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, which is a miraculous event, to say the least. Becoming pregnant before marriage in that day, was inconceivable! The social isolation and gossip would have ruined Mary’s life alone, but this type of sexual sin would have resulted in death by stoning. What was inconceivable in that time became conceivable with the Holy Spirit.
Conceive can also mean imagine or devise a plan. Jesus was once asked how to gain eternal life. He simply told the man to obey God’s commandments, then surrender his life to God. The man was discouraged and walked away. He had lived his life obeying the commandments, yet lacked surrendering his life. It was inconceivable to him. Jesus’ friends couldn’t conceive the concept either. They asked, “Who can be saved?” Jesus responded, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” What is inconceivable with man is conceivable with God.
As 2019 lurks around the corner on the cusp of a difficult year, I have to think, what will God conceive in my life this year? (No, another little one is not on the horizon.) What will God conceive in you? He is able to conceive new things for your home, your marriage, your family, or your career. Mary received what was once inconceivable. My friend, He has a great work to do in you. Are you open to the inconceivable?
“I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6