Devotion: Monday, December 3, 2018

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is from Luke 19:37-40, where the Bible says,

As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Blessed Is the One Who Comes in the Name of the Lord, really?

It was quite a day, that Palm Sunday in Jerusalem. Jesus, the Christ, the “Coming One” was indeed making His entrance into the city. It was a day of great rejoicing for many; but others reacted with harsh criticism (see the Pharisees’ complaint). Just as sad was the reality that a good portion of the crowd shouting, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” was shouting that truthful statement for the wrong reason. Many of them had seen Jesus do incredible miracles like giving sight to the blind man, Bartimaeus, and even raising Lazarus from the dead. As a result, they figured that this Jesus was the political “savior” they had been hoping for. For many, all of Jesus’ miracles meant that He had the power to do what they really wanted, to inaugurate a political kingdom that would overthrow the brutal Romans and put the Jewish people back in charge of Palestine. Sadly, some of those same people were perhaps even shouting, “Give us Barabbas and crucify Jesus!” days later. Why? Because Jesus’ work would not live up to—or should I say live down to—their hopes and dreams.

It seems much the same today, doesn’t it? For many, Jesus doesn’t live up to our hopes and dreams. Now, like then, the “Coming One” is praised initially, until people hear the real reason why He came then, and why He still comes today. Jesus came to bring forgiveness, life, and salvation to people who then were, and today are, dying in their sin. Sadly, both then and now, many settle for the fool’s gold of this world, when the enduring treasures of God are truly at the door of their heart. Don’t let that be you this Advent season of preparation.

As you begin your Advent preparations for Christmas, see the fullness of the coming kingdom of God’s grace in the “Coming One,” the King, Jesus. And don’t let the naysayers then or now prevent you from seeing the awesomeness of the eternal life and salvation that Jesus alone brings  for your life NOW AND FOREVER. In a sinful world, it seems like the true message of God often suffers rebuke, criticism, and rejection, even as other people hear it and still believe. I pray that this season you let the Lord Jesus have His say in and for your life. Let Him speak to the depth of your need for His love, His forgiveness, and His salvation, so that your “blessed be” words of praise to Him might be rooted in faith in the gift of salvation that He brings. Blessed is the one who comes in the Name of the Lord, really? Yes, really! For you and for me in Christ alone!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, in these weeks of preparation for Christmas, you call us to repentance, to see our need for you. May that repentance burst forth into the praises that only faith in you can bring. With that, please bless us all. AMEN.