John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.
Is this one verse saying God granted a self-contained life to Jesus similar to what He did for Adam? OR Is this verse saying Jesus’s life was “God in himself?” That is a bigger truth worth pondering.
The repetition of “in himself” slips by so quickly it’s easy to read it without questioning if there might be something more. It’s easy to accept Jesus being the living example of the perfection of God, His emissary if you will, sent to be like an extension cord that would connect us to the power of God. That is the truth of experience but words are gifts I believe God uses to direct devotional thoughts. The idea of “in himself” identifying Jesus as both the extension cord and the power made me think about Jesus as the sacrifice God made for our life on earth even before His sacrifice on the cross.
God “in himself” as Jesus was sacrificed on a cross to assure us there was a connection that would lead to eternity. Heaven is surely a blessing to look forward to but we live life our life on earth. The first sacrifice of God “in Himself” was Jesus living on earth to become the connection of this life and eternity. God “in himself” as Jesus on earth could teach us by example how to experience a connection to God that would turn every day of life, here and now, into the beginning of an eternity to come.
2 Samuel 15 &16 [AMP]
15:13 Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, let us flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom!…30 And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, with his head covered and walking barefoot [in despair]. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went. 31 David was told, “Ahithophel [your counselor] is among the conspirators with Absalom.” David said, “O Lord, I pray You, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.”
16:20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give me your advice. What should we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left behind to take care of the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened [by your boldness and audacity].” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof [of the king’s palace], and [i]Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
Reading 2 Samuel feels more like a discipline than a devotion to me. It’s not easy. I’ve had to learn that I can only get through the sad and sometimes gruesome details with the aid of hindsight. Hindsight and knowing what’s ahead in the New Testament are reliable markers that tie the experiences of this king to what I know about THE King – Jesus.
David has been forced to flee to the Mount of Olives. He’s in a familiar spot in any wilderness – the unknown. Sin has isolated him from his family and now the nation. It sounds remarkably like the experience of Jesus at that same spot so much later.
David is completely dependent on the protection of “foreigners.” The Kerethites, Pelethites, and Gittites may not have understood David was a man after God’s own heart. They were gentiles, but they certainly had foresight in their journey of open loyalty in support of the king. The benefit of hindsight is to see God already at work to secure a place for other foreigners of his creation just like us.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to understand why tears were part of Davids journey. He’s experiencing the betrayal of trust. Absalom’s final violation of the honor of his father was to stage circumstances on a rooftop that must have pierced David’s heart and memory with another rooftop moment of betrayal from his own past. He clearly recognizes God at work even in this moment of betrayal. Sound familiar?
II Corinthians 7: 5 For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, 2018. I have often used a list of Advent readings and explored this season through the eyes of those Scriptures other people chose. This year I’ve made the choice to look for Christmas preparation with my own eyes as I continue exercising my mind in II Corinthians and see where my heart takes me. Today it begins with Paul’s words “we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us…” That reality has made the Bible an enduring treasure that still comforts us in our response to the realities of life and provides transformation along with information. Experience has shown me every part of the Bible supports the choice God made on our behalf long ago: the birth of Jesus. Faith in God’s choice changes our choices.
Advent reminds us transformation came in a “small” package to provide a lifetime of therapeutic doses of comfort [grace] that will fill the gaps left by wrong choices and ultimately overcome the accumulation of fatigue, stress, conflict or fear, so our “joy” will be “greater than ever.” That’s my choice for this Advent season.
I hope it will be yours too. Read whatever Scripture you pick with your eyes, your mind, your heart AND your experience. Let’s take God at his Word that Christ is his choice made on our behalf for our transformation and choose to find our Christmas joy in His choice