December 11

Matthew 11:7-11

“Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” vs. 11

Jesus had to be careful in talking about John the Baptist. He was a well-known radical preacher who had gained enormous popularity by speaking truth to power. Large numbers of people had become his disciples and they had been deeply upset by his arrest and imprisonment. In fact, Jesus had come from Nazareth to the Jordan River in order to hear John speak and be baptized by him. That moment turned out to be the turning point in Jesus’ life. Guided by the Spirit he went back to Galilee and began proclaiming a similar yet radically different message, one based not on what we can do for God, but on what God does for us. This distinction continues to be what sets the gospel apart from all the legalistic messages so common in our culture. That’s why waiting is so important for believers, not only in Advent, but all through the year. We’re not only remembering the unconditional love of God that was made flesh in Jesus, we’re actively anticipating signs of that same love in our daily lives. Oh what an exciting life we have! God has come and is coming–and even we who think ourselves the least in the kingdom have a ringside seat to the action.

Thought for the Day: What has God done for me?

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