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Monday, December 3, 2012

for Tuesday (December 4th): the eyes that see



Luke 10:21-24
21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these  things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22 All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and  any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." 23 Then turning to the disciples he said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."

Reflection

How does God bring his kingdom to us? Jesus remarked that many prophets and kings before him longed to see and understand God's plan for establishing his kingdom. When King David’s throne was overthrown and vacant for centuries, God promised, nonetheless, to raise up a new king from the stump of Jesse, the father of David.

 This messianic king would rule forever because the Spirit of God would rest upon him and remain with him (Isaiah 11:1). Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be equipped with the gifts of the Spirit – with wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord. This king would establish the kingdom of God, not by force of human will and military power, but by offering his life as the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world.

 Through his death on the cross, Jesus, the true Messiah King, would defeat Satan, overcome death, and win pardon and reconcilliation for sinners. God's plan of redemption included not only the Jewish people but all the nations of the earth as well.

Through his death and resurrection Jesus makes us citizens of heaven and friends of God. The Lord Jesus wants us to live in joyful hope and confident expectation that he will come again to fully establish his kingdom of righteousness and peace.

What does Jesus' prayer (Luke 10:21-22) tell us about God and about ourselves? First, it tells us that God is both Father and Lord of earth as well as heaven. He is both Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything and transcendent authority, and at the same time, goodness and loving care for all his children. All fatherhood and motherhood are derived from him (Ephesians 3:14-15).

 Jesus' prayer also contains a warning that pride can keep us from the love and knowledge of God. Pride closes the mind to God's truth and wisdom for our lives. Jesus contrasts pride with child-like simplicity and humility. The simple of heart are like "babes" in the sense that they see purely without pretense and acknowledge their dependence and trust in God who is the source of all wisdom and strength.

 They seek one thing – the "summum bonum" or "greatest good" which is God himself. Simplicity of heart is wedded with humility, the queen of virtues, because humility inclines the heart towards grace and truth. Just as pride is the root of every sin and evil we can conceive, so humility is the only soil in which the grace of God can take root. It alone takes the right attitude before God and allows him as God to do all.

 "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (Prov. 3:34, James 4:6). The grace of Christ-like humility inclines us towards God and disposes us to receive God's wisdom, grace, and help.

 Nothing can give us greater joy than the knowledge that we are God's beloved and that our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). Do you seek God's wisdom and grace with humility and trust?
Jesus makes a claim which no one would have dared to make: He is the perfect revelation of God.

Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about God – who he is and what he is like. We can know God personally and be united with him in a relationship of love, trust, and friendship. Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father.

To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God – a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the cross.

Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his love and care for you?

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