Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rorate Coeli: A Devotional Commentary

Deuteronomy 18:15-19 Yahweh your God will raise up to you a prophet from the midst of you, of your brothers, like me. You shall listen to him. This is according to all that you desired of Yahweh your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, “Let me not hear again the voice of Yahweh my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I not die.” Yahweh said to me, “They have well said that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him. It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, “Rejoice!” Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

John 1:19-28 This is John’s testimony, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He declared, and didn’t deny, but he declared, “I am not the Christ.” They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” They said therefore to him, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” The ones who had been sent were from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize in water, but among you stands one whom you don’t know. He is the one who comes after me, who is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I’m not worthy to loosen.” These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Faithful ministers point us to Christ just as John the Baptizer did. When a minister pronounces that your sins are forgiven you may be offended. Who gave him the right to do that? He does not do it by his own authority but in the stead and by the command of Jesus Christ. He baptizes in the stead and by the command of Jesus Christ. The faithful minister proclaims the coming Christ, not because the minister is special--the minister is not even worthy to take off Jesus' shoes for Him. But the minister proclaims that Jesus comes because he has been commanded by Jesus to do so.

If you refuse to listen to this message given to you by the minister, you refuse Christ Himself. You have lost everything. But by faith you receive everything by the Word spoken through the minister. You receive forgiveness of sins, you receive the very body and blood of Christ through the Word joined with the bread and wine, you receive eternal life. Rejoice! Your king comes!

No comments: