Tag Archives: servant

day 18: God

John 1:18; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:1-4

No one has ever seen God;the only God, who is at the Father’s side,he has made him known.” – John 1:18

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” – Colossians 1:15

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.  After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” – Hebrews 1:1-3

Jesus of Nazareth is God expressed.  when we read one of his titles, “the firstborn of all creation”, we are tempted to think He was born but “firstborn” means supremacy in the family.  He, in fact, “created” all created things and, like the firstborn of the family, inherits all things.  He made and owns all things, yet He comes into what He has made, lives among us, cares for us, cleanses us by dying for us that killed Him.  although He is over all things, He comes under us and serves us.  what does that say about God?  about us?

if Jesus is “the exact imprint” of God, why do we still look for God elsewhere?  why do we continue to insist and live like He is far away when He has come to be one of us?

thank you Lord that you are God…and the man.

day 17: source

Zechariah 3:8, 6:12-13; John 15:1-8

“Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.” – Zechariah 3:8

“And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD.  It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne,and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”‘ – Zechariah 6:12-13

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” – John 15:5-8

Zechariah prophesies of a person, called the Branch, who is simultaneously a servant and a king.  Like a branch he spreads…building, ruling and also mediating it seems (as a priest also is said to share His throne).  Jesus is this Branch.  Yet Jesus, in one of his final teachings to us, calls us the branches.   Jesus is the Branch yet He calls us the branches.

So who then is the branch?   if we look at this same teaching of Jesus He calls Himself the Vine.  yet this metaphor of a vine too had also been used in the tenach (old testament) scriptures (from the psalms as well as the prophets)…to refer to His people.  Jesus has inverted the ot metaphors.  in the prophesies He is the Branch yet in His teaching we are the branches; in the prophecies we are the vine but in His teaching He is the true Vine.

So which is actually which?  Jesus in this teaching brings together the metaphor of the branch and the vine, illuminating their connection….their relationship.  in some ways He and we are both the vine and the branches.  i think this interchange and blending of metaphors points to the fact that we MUST be that interconnected to Jesus…so connected that we must not only abide, or remain, with Him…we must “abide in” Him.  however, their is a critical distinction between Jesus and us…He is the true source…He is The branch we are only branches…He is the True Vine and we the vine.  even when we are the branches, He is the servant-king Branch from which we all spread.  Even when we are the vine, He is the True Vine who actually lives righteously and justly.  without Him, “apart from” Him, we can “do nothing.”

so how can we live “in Him?  at the very least it starts with getting His word in us.  i think this means we put ourselves where He wants us to be, where He is.  Yes, it is our privilege and calling to be like Him, as His disciples, but this is if and only if we are (inter)connected to Him.

do we yield to Him, not only to serve us but to also rule us?  how can we remain in Him today?

thank you Lord that you are our source.

day 12: outsiders

Isaiah 42:1-8, 49:1-6; Luke 2:25-32

“‘I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.'” – Isaiah 42:6-7

“he says:’It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.'” – Isaiah 49:6-7

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, ‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.'” – Luke 2:25-32

these passages of scripture for reading today are just so beautiful to me.  they show such wonderful glimpses into the nature of this servant/savior: his humility, his obedience, his great quiet power.  i am sorry i can not discuss them all at length.  instead, i want to focus in on the explicit common thread found in all three passages: that Jesus would come not only for the people of israel but as “a light for the nations” or more specifically “to the gentiles” (non-jews).  we must not forget that when he walked this earth, Jesus was a jew sent primarily for the jews.  this business about hating on jews for being jesus killers is just nonsense.  yes, he was sentenced to death by some jewish authorities but jesus himself was a jew and if it wasn’t for what God did through 12 of jesus’ closest jewish friends (and a certain 13th super jewish friend that came around later) we wouldn’t even know this jesus.  but thank God He’s not racist.  i am so thankful that He is a big God…that He considered it “too light a thing” to only bring back the jews to Him but that He would reach out to us…gentiles.  without His light shining out to us we would not be able to “see.”  He has a mission for reaching out to the foreigner, the blind, the prisoner, the one stuck in darkness, to the very ends of the earth…to us.  i am so glad He loves like that.

do we thank Him for opening our eyes and including us in eternal blessing, even when He didn’t have to?  in what ways are we reflecting him by reaching out to those who are ignored or forgotten?

thank you Lord that you reach out to outsiders…like us.