Monday 28th January
Luke 3:16, 1 John 3:1
The wonderful news of Jesus Christ and His demonstration of love towards us in giving His life as a ransom for many, leads us not only into humble submission but also into gracious adoration. In keeping with the theme of God’s value for our lives, today’s passage looks at both the response to Jesus’ authority and His gift of love towards us, His children.
Luke starts off in chapter 3 describing God’s messenger, John the Baptist. John was a man commissioned to prepare the way for the Lamb of God. He lived mainly in the wilderness by the river Jordan. His message was clear; repent, be baptised and produce fruit in keeping with the Spirit’s regenerative work in the believer’s life. He opposed sinful living and exalted Jesus above himself. His audience was mostly Jewish as he often highlighted that salvation was not earned through ancestry lineage but rather was a gift of God, through Jesus, the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. John knew that His role was to prepare the way for Jesus but he also knew who Jesus’ identity was.
After a strong rebuke to the crowds, convicted hearts began to question John as to what their response should be to avoid the wrath of God’s judgment and become fruit bearing believers. John’s passionate and wise words prompted many to believe that he was the Messiah or the Christ. Yet John re-emphasised his position and pointed to the coming of the One who was much greater than he. We then reach the pinnacle of this passage in verse 16, whereby John humbles his heart and exalts Jesus above himself.
Last week we talked about the humility of Mary who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and anointed them with an expensive perfume. In keeping with that humble attitude our attention turns to John, who in a more figurative way, explains that in fact he was not even worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals, let alone wash his feet. This role was reserved for the lowliest of servants, yet here John, with an attitude of humble submission expressed his un-worthiness to even participate in this act. How amazing is this picture? Just a few verses earlier John rebukes the crowds in total confidence and a few verses later rebukes the King for his adulteress living. Yet now, he takes the position that is lower than a servant when he is mirrored with Jesus Christ. John knew and was confident in his ministry but he also knew who Jesus was and in submission to His authority, humbled himself and became ‘lower than a servant’ (figuratively speaking) to God incarnate.
What is your response to knowing who Jesus is? Are you humbled by His presence? In 1 John 3:1, we learn that this great Creator God, has not only lavished His love on us but has called us sons and daughters of God. This is one of my favourite words in the Bible, ‘Lavished’. Although this word is not the best translation from the Greek word ‘didomi’ (offer, give) it truly does emphasis what Jesus did for us on the cross. In humbling Himself on the cross, He poured without end His love on unworthy yet not worthless people. In lavishing (abundance and extravagance) His love towards us, He adopted us into His family through the work of redemption on the cross. So great is this measure of love that it cannot be bought or paid for, and therefore puts a priceless tag on the heads of those who abide and live in His love. Christ gave His life for you, are you giving Him yours?