Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Jesus We Miss at Christmas

Christmas is full of glitz:  the stores, the music, the streets.  We all like a little bling, some more than others, but bling is fun.  It's festive.  It's exciting.  It's both reminiscent and new.  Over and over, the book of Mark contrasts man's desire for bling with Christ's humility.  At His birth he was surrounded by hay and beasts of burden instead of gold and scores of people, angels and shepherds instead of trumpets and processions.  And, in Mark chapter eleven, a donkey and commoners in the place of a war horse and royalty.

Passage: Mark 11:1-11

v.  4-7: They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it. Some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it.

Impression:  Jesus gave instructions and the disciples were quick to obey.  They may not have understood exactly what was about to happen, or they may have been embarrassed by His plan. Why would Jesus make a public spectacle of Himself on an immature draft animal?  Jesus’ entry would not be one of pride or self-exaltation but of peace and gentleness. Although He took the form of a man He is unlike natural man;  His deity is evident in His humility.  In previous passages Jesus esteemed others as equal:  scribes, Pharisees, the poor, the rich, even Caesar.  He regarded each as equal before God, limited in knowledge and ability.  Here and elsewhere, Jesus is lowly.  He waits for, but does not demand, the acknowledgement, devotion, and honor of a humble people.  The disciples, in their obedience, exercised that same humility.

Application:  What is my response to Jesus?  Am I quick to respond when He asks me to do menial tasks?  Humbling tasks?  Embarrassing ones?  How do I represent Him?  As one demanding respect or as a servant seeking to minister to the needs of others?  Am I willing to do what He commands, placing Him in the center, myself lost in the crowd?  I must, by His enabling, accept every task and become the servant of all, entrusting Him with the outcome.

How will you trust and obey our humble servant King this Christmas?

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