(This is a first in the more than 16 years we have sent forth these devotionals. Yesterday, a dear young lady named Brittany provided inspiration for the message. Today, her mother Peggy provides inspiration. Thanks ladies! Glen)
The Lord Jesus Christ participated in a baptism for sinners, not as the one baptizing, but as a supplicant.
"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him" (Matter 3:13).
We must allow the enormity of this consideration to keenly impact our hearts and minds. The perfect Son of God, spotlessly pristine in every spiritual and moral sense, submitted Himself to an ordinance for which He had no personal need. He acted in obedience to His Father's will and to His calling to fully identify with us. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same… We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Hebrews 2:14; 4:15).
Glorious reflections of light shine forth Jordan's baptismal waters where the Lamb of God so humbled Himself. First, let us see the wonder of Almighty God, glorious beyond all imagining, but possessed of a heart He declared to be "meek and lowly" (Matthew 11:29). One could think, ponder, and seek to assimilate such glory for an eternity without plumbing the holy depths of the wonder of the Servant Lord. We will do so, in fact. In such light, we see our own calling to walk in humility, particularly in those matters where God commissions us to positions of authority. No true leader, as God's defines leadership, can fulfill the role apart from a heart and attitude of lowliness, as revealed by the Spirit of Christ. Self importance and tyrannical harshness in any supposed Christian leader disqualifies and disassociates the party from participation in the Lordship of Jesus, and thus, from the will of God. Of such ones, the Pharisees, the Lord Jesus declared, "They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers" (Matthew 23:4). Moreover, to avoid such shameful distortion in the body of Christ, the Lord commanded, "Be not ye called Rabbi, for one is your master, even Christ, and ye are all brothers. And call no man your father upon the earth, for one is your Father, which is in Heaven, which is in Heaven. Neither be ye called masters, for One is your master, even Christ. For he that is greatest among you shall be your servant" (Matthew 23:8-11).
A manger, a life lived mostly in obscurity, a Lordship of disciples exercised as a servant, a posture of kneeling to wash their feet, submission to human authorities whose destruction He could have instantly accomplished, and a sorrowful, suffering death on the cross of Calvary - all and more in our blessed Lord Jesus tell us of His glory and His humility. They tell us also of the utter absurdity and depravity of arrogant leadership on the part of any human authority. "Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye ought also to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you" (John 13:13-15). May our Savior lead us in the Lordship of the Lamb, and in the authority most powerfully revealed in humility.
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
"The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men.
(I Timothy 2:24)
Weekly Memory Verse
The Lord was not in the wind, and after the wind, an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, a still, small voice.
(I Kings 19:11-12)