As a pastor of almost 30 years, I have always believed that life begins at conception.
I believe that is what the Bible plainly teaches. But this past year, the significance of answering the question, “When does life begin?” was brought front and center in my life in a new and unexpected way.
As a result of miscarriage, my wife and I said goodbye to not one but two “grandbabies.”
Our hearts were broken for our children and their spouses. We also grieved the passing of two tiny lives.
These were babies that were just a few weeks past conception. They would bear no obvious physical traits. These babies were in the earliest stages of life.
Some might think they were nothing more than a mass of tissue. I disagree.
So, how do we know that when a baby is conceived in the womb that it’s a real person? How do we know that a human life has begun?
To find answers, I turn to the word of God. I have chosen the Bible as my source of truth in all things. So, what does the Bible have to say on this subject?
In Luke 1:41, Mary, the mother-to-be of Jesus, greeted Elizabeth, the mother-to-be of John the Baptist, before either child was born.
“At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”
That unborn baby, who was John the Baptist, was referred to as a child. The same word (in the original language) is used again in Luke 2:12.
This time it is translated as baby.
“You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth.”
Here we have two biblical references, to two specific mothers, who gave birth to two baby boys.
These stories are less than a chapter apart in the book of Luke. The same noun is used for a baby in the womb and a baby that had been born.
Have you ever met a pregnant woman who refers to her unborn baby as an unformed substance or a mass of cells?
Me either. But a mother will often make reference to the fact she is carrying a baby, regardless of how far along she is in her pregnancy.
An unborn child is not just a creation of a man and woman, but a creation of God.
The DNA of these children has been established. Everything that is needed to determine their distinctive human traits is already in place.
You can read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.