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Did Jesus have Mary’s DNA or was Mary Jesus’ surrogate mother?

Is Joseph and Mary the biological parents of Jesus?

We know from Matthew 1:18, 1:25 and Luke 1:27,1:34 that Mary was a virgin and had not had any sexual intercourse with her fiance, Joseph, when she conceived Jesus. So we know for sure that Jesus was not conceived through the normal way babies are made where the egg of the mother combines with the sperm of the father. We can conclude that Jesus was not conceived by the sperm of Joseph and hence does not carry the DNA of Joseph. In other words, Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus. However, is Mary the biological mother of Jesus?

Is Mary the biological mother of Jesus?

While we know for sure that Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus, we cannot be certain if Mary is the biological mother of Jesus. Matthew 1:18, 1:20 and Luke 1:35 tells us that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit. How exactly was this achieved is a mystery and is not specified in the Bible.

We can only deduce that there are two possibilities how Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit :

  • Possibility 1 – Mary is the biological mother of Jesus

One possibility is that Jesus was conceived with the egg of Mary though not the sperm of Joseph. This would mean that Mary was the biological mother of Jesus.

In an article by NeverThirsty, the author explained that biological studies have revealed that the mother’s mitochondrial DNA is absolutely essential for a child to have life. But the father’s mitochondrial DNA is not essential for a child to have life. Hence, one possibility is that the Holy Spirit uses the egg of Mary to start the creation. Although this possibility would seem to satisfy the scripture in Genesis 3:15 (NKJV) that the Messiah shall come from the Seed of Eve, it would also mean that Jesus would inherit the DNA of Mary as well as the sin and generation curses (Exodus 34:7) from her lineage.

  • Possibility 2 – Mary is only the surrogate mother

Another possibility is that Jesus was not conceived with any of the eggs that Mary was born with. He was placed as an embryo in Mary’s womb. This means that Mary was only a surrogate mother.

Modern day’s science has proven that this method of conception is possible and is termed as surrogacy where an embryo is formed externally and implanted into the womb of the surrogate mother. Science has also proven that the baby does not inherit any DNA from the surrogate mother.

This second possibility gives the certainty that Jesus is fully the Son of God and He has only the DNA of God although He took on the form of flesh and blood.  In other words Jesus is without sin although He was born a Man. He does not carry with Him any ancestral sins nor curses. With regards to the fulfilment of Genesis 3:15 (NKJV), we must recognise that if God could accord Jesus to be from the royal line of King David without Joseph being the biological father, then, God could also accord Jesus to be Mary’s Seed without using her egg. The fact that Jesus was born of a woman was enough to justify that He was Eve’s Seed. Notwithstanding this, whether God uses an egg that was already in Mary or God provides another new egg from heaven, it is still Mary’s egg because it is given by God to Mary only. It is unlike the case of a normal surrogate mother where the embryo was formed from the egg of another woman.

Thus, we can conclude that it is very likely that God did not use the egg that was already in Mary for then Jesus would inherit her DNA and sin would be in Him. Instead, God had formed the embryo externally and placed in Mary’s womb like in the case of surrogacy. However, Mary is still the biological mother because the egg from which the embryo was formed was given by God only to Mary.

In addition…

The Bible only record two incidences where the devil appeared to mankind to deceive them. The first was when the serpent lied to Eve before mankind took of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:1). After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, sin is in all human beings and sin can control the emotions, thoughts, imagination, feelings and willpower of human beings. So the devil no longer need to appear to mankind externally. Sin is in every human being (Romans 7:17-20).

The second incident where the devil appeared to mankind was when he tried to tempt Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:3). Why did the devil had to appear externally to Jesus like he did to Eve? The reason is because sin is not in Jesus. Sin cannot control Jesus’ emotions, thoughts, imaginations, willpower and feelings.

Although in Hebrews 2:14, apostle Paul wrote that Jesus had to be born as a human being so that He can die for mankind, note that  this does not mean that Jesus came as a human being carrying the curse of death from Adam (Genesis 2:17, 3:19). Rather, it meant that Jesus took on the form of flesh and blood so that He could die.

Conclusion

We can only deduce and no one knows exactly the truth of how Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit. Since the Bible did not specify, then it meant that God deems this as something unimportant for us to dwell on nor to argue about (2 Timothy 2:23). So let’s focus on what the Bible clearly stated:

  1. Jesus took on flesh and blood to die for us, to conquer death and to give us eternal life(John 6:53, Hebrews 2:14)
  2. Jesus was fully Man and fully God (John 1:1, 5:18, 14:8-9 Philippians 2:5-7, Colossians 1:15, 2:9, Hebrews 1:3, Luke 1:35)
  3. Jesus was without sin (1 John 3:5,  1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

If these are what the Bible had clearly stated and reiterated in many parts of the Bible, then it means they are what God wants us to remember and dwell upon. We should simply remember these truths. The fact that Jesus was fully God, He had the DNA of God. What we must remember is that as believers, we are in Christ Jesus and Jesus is in us (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20, John 14:19-20). Hence, we too, have the DNA of God. When we believe in Jesus, our old self was crucified with Him. Because He lives, we also live. We have the ressurrection life of Jesus in us. This is all that matters and is what we need to meditate upon.