Today is the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Pastor John, what would you like to say to those who continue laboring in the pro-life movement?
Well, first of all, let’s not grow weary in this battle for life in the womb. Let’s pray for strength.
The Womb: God’s Workplace
If you aren’t weary because you are not in the battle, open your eyes to what is happening. The Bible talks about the situation so clearly in Proverbs 24:11:
Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?
And then Job protested in his innocence when they were accusing him of being heartless. He said, “I treated my servants fairly.” And one of the reasons he gave for why he treated them fairly was Job 31:15: “Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?” So Job is saying, Already in the womb, two valuable human beings were being fashioned. So God did, indeed, make us in the womb: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). This is God’s womb. This is God’s workplace. We have no business intruding there to destroy what he is doing in making persons in that womb.
Son of God, Preborn
One of the most moving illustrations recently of why killing the unborn is a heinous sin is that I saw John Ensor on a YouTube post teaching a class in China through an interpreter. He talked about the conception of Jesus in relation to the conception of John the Baptist. And it really was a moving experience. He pointed out that the angel came to Mary in Luke 1:31 and said, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son.” Now is conceiving a son, bearing a son? I think so. I think it will become clear in the context.
“This law that they passed, if enforced in the first century, would have endorsed the legal killing of Jesus in the womb.”
You won’t just bear, but you will conceive a son. And in verse 36, the angel helps Mary believe this by saying that her barren kinswoman, Elizabeth, has conceived a son. Now here it doesn’t say bear a son, it says that she conceived a son in her womb. So she will not just bear a son — like he will become a son when he is born — but he is the son there. She is six months pregnant. Then it says, “Mary arose and went with haste . . . to a town in Judah . . . and greeted Elizabeth” (Luke 1:39–40). So Mary wasn’t pregnant, she is told she will get pregnant, and she takes off for Judah. John suggests it might take a day or two to walk that. And by the time she gets there, she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit. And Luke tells us in Luke 1:41 that when Mary approached the baby in Elizabeth — and it says baby, the same word used in Luke 2:12: “You will find the baby wrapped in swaddling cloths” — the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy. Why? Elizabeth cries out, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42–43).
So the point is that John the Baptist is leaping for joy in the presence of Jesus, the Son of God, just like he will later rejoice when the bridegroom comes and John becomes little and Jesus becomes much, and he says, “My joy is complete” (see John 3:29–31). Already he is experiencing that in his mother’s womb. And John Ensor commented that John the Baptist is about the size of your hand at six months. He held up his hand like this — so about those dimensions. “And Jesus,” he said, “How big is Jesus?” And he went to the blackboard or whiteboard, and he put a dot, and he said, “A lot smaller than that.”
Assault on God’s Son
So what I would say on this anniversary of Roe v. Wade — this most wicked of all Supreme Court decrees ever — that it is a direct assault on the Son of God. Not only because the Son of God is the Creator of all children, and therefore Roe v. Wade is assaulting person-creating rights when it kills children that he is creating, but also because this law that they passed, if enforced in the first century, would have endorsed the legal killing of Jesus in the womb. And Jesus in the womb is the Son of God.
Jesus Christ was conceived as a human being, united in one person with the divine and human nature at the moment of conception. And people need to think about this. Joseph didn’t get Mary pregnant, and then at some point along the way God turns this baby into the Son of God. This baby came into being through the work of the Holy Spirit. And that is why he is called the Son of God, according to Luke.
“Every lover of the incarnation of Jesus should hate abortion and what it stands for.”
So we know that from the moment of conception, he is God. That is the mind-boggling thing. And therefore, the union between God and man happened at conception, and Roe v. Wade, by implication, would say it is just a piece of whatever, and you can take it, and it doesn’t matter.
So I would say that every lover of the incarnation of Jesus should hate abortion and what it stands for, and I hope that the Lord keeps us prayerful and keeps us active until the day comes when abortion will be as unthinkable as slavery is today, because it is a far more destructive action.