Devotion and Prayer for Week of December 14, 2014

 

Meditation for the Week of December 14, 2014

“When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask [John the Baptist] ‘Who are you?’ He confessed, and did not deny, ‘I am not the Christ.’” – John 1:19-20

 

In our world today, we live in a society in which we are encouraged to promote our selves. When we accomplish something, we put it on our resume in hopes of getting a better job. When we succeed in grand projects we are encouraged to put our name on them in hopes of getting a promotion or a raise. When we do good things we are told to broadcast it from the rooftops so that we might get the credit that we deserve.

In the passage from the Gospel of John above, we see John the Baptist doing the exact opposite. Here people are giving him so much credit that they are considering the possibility that he might be God’s chosen One, the Christ. Here John has a grand opportunity for some self-aggrandizing. But what does he do instead? He confesses, “I am not the Christ.”

Now, of course, it’s easy to look at this and to say that John is merely being honest. After all, Jesus is the Christ, and not John. But as we look at all of that which John said, we see it’s more than that. In verse twenty-seven of chapter one, John calls Jesus one whose sandal strap “I am not worthy to untie.” He also says of Jesus in chapter three, verse thirty, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” And so we see that John isn’t just being honest, he’s is trying to take a lowly place so that Jesus would be glorified.

In our sin all of us should realize the lowly place that we hold, and we should exalt Jesus. After all, Jesus is the One who came in the lowliest of births: being laid in swaddling cloths in a manger. He lived a lowly life without great wealth or means. And He grew up to die the lowliest death of a criminal, being crucified for our sins. This perfect man who knew no sin carried our sin, and became sin for us so that He might raise us up from the lowliness of our sin and be granted forgiveness, life and salvation in His Kingdom forever. Amen.

 

Our Weekly Prayer                

Lord Jesus, You are the Christ. Help us to always see the lowliness of our sin, and to see all the more how you were brought low so that we would be raised up to Your Eternal Kingdom. Grant that we may become less and You would become more. Amen.