"Are you the Christ, the Son of the blessed God?"
Jesus answered, "I am.
And in the future you will see the Son of Man
sitting at the right hand of God,
the Powerful One,
and coming on clouds in the sky."
Luke 14: 61--62
dThat's What Love Does
READ Mark 14:1-72
SITUATION Jesus neared the time of his death. He triumphantly entered Jerusalem and chased men from the Temple who exploited worship. Excitement filled the air in the Jerusalem because the people consider Jesus to be the conquering Messiah. Instead, Jesus prepared to face the cross.
OBSERVATION The people thought that Jesus would be a glorious hero and give the nation a majestic destiny. Instead, Jesus humbled himself according to God's plan and won our salvation.
INSPIRATION Would you do what Jesus did? He swapped a spotless castle for a grimy stable. He exchanged the worship of angels for the company of killers. He could hold the universe in his palm but gave it up to float in the womb of a maiden.
If you were God, would you sleep on straw, nurse from a breast, and be clothed in a diaper? I wouldn't, but Christ did.
If you knew that only a few would care that you came, would you still come? If you knew that those you loved would laugh in your face, would you still care? If you knew that the tongues you made would mock you, the mouths you made would spit at you, the hands you made would crucify you, would you still make them? Christ did. Would you regard the immobile and invalid more important than yourself? Jesus did.
He humbled himself. He went from commanding angels to sleeping in the straw. From holding stars to clutching Mary's fingers. The palm that held the universe took the nail of a soldier.
Why? Because that's what love does. It puts the beloved before itself. Your soul was more important than his blood. Your eternal life was more important than his earthly life. Your place in heaven was more important to him than his place in heaven, so he gave up his so you could have yours.
He loves you that much, and because he loves you, you are of prime importance to him.
Christ stands in contrast to the barnyard. He points to the sparrow, the most inexpensive bird of his day, and says, "Five sparrows are sold for only two pennies, and God does not forget any of them...You are worth much more than many sparrows" (Luke 12:6-7).
God remembers the small birds of the world. We remember the eagles. We make bronze statues of the hawk. We name our athletic teams after the falcons. But God notices the sparrows. He makes time for the children and takes note of the lepers. He offers the woman in adultery a second chance and the thief on the cross a personal invitation. Christ is partial to the beat up and done in and urges us to follow suit. "When you give a feast, invite the poor, the cripple, the lame and the blind" (Luke 14:13).
Want to love others as God has loved you? Come thirsty. Drink deeply of God's love for you, and ask him to fill your heart with a love worth giving. (From A Love Worth Giving by Max Lucado)
APPLICATION Instead of campaigning at work or church for a high and honored office, commit six months to doing what everyone else avoids. Look for ways to identify with the Servant Messiah, Jesus.
EXPLORATION Servanthood -- Matthew 20:26-28; Luke 18:14; John 13:13-17; Philippians 2:5-11.
The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers