Saturday, December 21

Reader: “He is from heaven.”

Response: “We are of the earth.”

Scripture: John 3:31-36    

“He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”

Some thoughts: 

These next days of devotionals will be focusing specifically on the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. The above passage were the words of John the Baptist. Previously, John had told his own disciples that he was not the Messiah, but that the Messiah would become greater and he would become lesser. Then we have his above words. John is stating a magnificent truth in regards to Jesus. The words “He has come from above” have a deeper significance than is first apparent. The Greek word for “above” carries with it the idea of a completely different reality and world. The origins of the two worlds are vastly different. Think about a human that looks, acts, and is every bit as much of a human being as you are. In fact, go in front of a mirror and look at yourself, your arms, face, your whole body. Now imagine that person you are looking at came from another world, an “environment” totally different from this world. (Movies make a living with this idea!) In that dimension everything was perfect, but more perfect, holy, and pure than anyone from this earthly world can conceive of. This “heavenly being” speaks of his “other world” as to what he has seen and heard and why he has come to this earth at all. Furthermore, he claimed to be God and forgave sin! (Movies leave this part out!) The Creator of the earth, came to the very place he created. People who lived then touched and talked to the One who made them and this planet. Grasping that truth boggles the mind even now. One would think people would flock to this vastly superior human being and drink in every word. Why would such an eminent person care about this earthly world with all its troubles in the first place? The truth is, all of the earthly humans ultimately rejected the words of the heavenly Savior and, to our shame, killed him. It was only after his resurrection and victory over death, that people of this earth began to repent and believe in him. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is the bedrock of the faith. One person, fully God, fully human, came from a different dimension from heaven to bring restoration to the entire created order on earth. His arrival to planet earth will be celebrated in just a few days. Don’t let the festivities of the day cover the significance of his largely unnoticed arrival. When he returns again, it will be noticed by all!

Music: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”   Celtic Women Beautiful voices! . . . 

Bonus: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”    Kings College Choir Spectacular Brass and Cathedral setting, don’t miss it. 


O Source of all good, what shall I render to thee for the gift of gifts, thine own dear Son, begotten, not created, my redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute, his self-emptying incomprehensible, his infinity of love beyond the heart’s grasp. Herein is wonder of wonders: he came below to raise me above, was born like me that I might become like him. Here is love; when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings of grace, to raise me to himself. Herein is power: when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart he united them in indissoluble unity, the uncreate and the created. Herein is wisdom: when I was undone with no will to return to him, and no intellect to devise recovery, he came, God-incarnate, to save to the uttermost, as man to die my death, to shed satisfying blood on my behalf, to work out a perfect righteousness for me. O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, and enlarge my mind; let me hear good tidings of great joy, and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore, my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose, my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father; place me with ox, ass, camel, goat, to look with them upon my redeemer’s face, and in him account myself delivered from sin; let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart, embrace him with undying faith, exulting that he is mine and I am his. In him thou hast given me so much that heaven can give no more.

                ―from The Valley of Vision, p.16