Who was upholding the universe while Mary was holding Jesus?

Milky_Way_IR_SpitzerHebrews 1:3 tells us that the Son “upholds all things by the word of His power.” If the Son never ceased to be God, Hebrews 1:3 must remain true even at the time of His incarnation. So while Mary was holding her son, He was holding her–and the universe–together.

Athanasius (4th c.) articulated the paradox this way:

     The Word was not hedged in by His body, nor did His presence in the body prevent His being present elsewhere as well. When He moved His body He did not cease also to direct the universe by His Mind and might. No. The marvelous truth is that being the Word, so far from being Himself contained by anything, He actually contained all things Himself.

. . . At one and the same time—this is the wonder—as Man He was living a human life, and as Word He was sustaining the life of the universe, and as Son He was in constant union with the Father. Not even His birth from a virgin, therefore, changed Him in any way, nor was He defiled by being in the body.

Athanasius, On the Incarnation

Come and stand amazed, indeed.

Author: Jonathan P. Merritt

Happily married father of six. Lead pastor at Edgewood Baptist Church (Columbus, GA). Good-natured contrarian, theological Luddite, and long-suffering Atlanta Falcons fan. A student of one book.

2 thoughts on “Who was upholding the universe while Mary was holding Jesus?”

  1. Simply so amazing that it should bring us to our knees in adoration and worship of the Name that is above all names! Thanks for the reminder!


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