Sarah Francis Martin is a wife, mother, friend, mentor, author and wanna be artist. Shehas a passion to encourage women to make Jesus famous in every part of life. She is the author of Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous (Thomas Nelson 2012). Sarah's relevant and conversational style will invigorate readers to live rise up off the couch of complacency live with faith-filled purpose for the renown of Jesus . When Sarah is not typing away at her laptop you can usually find her getting her hands messy with craft paint. Check out more at www.liveitoutblog.com.
Good morning! Good afternoon! Good evening! I say that because there are many joining us in our Advent Awe and Wonder journey from all over the world. It is neat to hear from you all and think about a convergence of believers coming together to Praise Jesus even on the world wide web. Let's jump on in...
But Jesus held His peace and didn’t say a word. High Priest: Are You God’s Anointed, the Liberating King, the Son of the Blessed One? Jesus: I am. One day you will see the Son of Man “sitting at His right hand, in the place of honor and power,” and “coming in the clouds of heaven.”
Today's Scripture brings us to the trial and coming punishment of Jesus on the cross. Our passage puts us in front of Jesus as He responds to the Jewish High Priest's inquisition. We read a bold, Kingly declaration by Jesus: I AM. These two words triggered disdain and fear in the eyes of the Jews of that time as Jesus used a phrase that God alone was capable of expressing. These two words I AM date back to the Old Testament where God revealed Himself to Moses as the One and Only God--the Great I AM. (see Exodus 3:14)
The Self existent ONE
The Alpha and Omega-- beginning and end and everything in between
The Never Changing God Messiah--Savior
For Jesus to use this sacred phrase could be seen as blasphemy by those who's eyes were veiled to just WHO Jesus really is: Son of God, Majestic King in all authority.
How often do we ourselves deny that He is the I AM? God Himself? Immanuel--God With Us?
How often does our pride keep us from kneeling before Him in humility? Yet instead we walk out our life with the burden of sin and need for forgiveness? How often do we place people or things on a pedestal––of more priority––than the worship of the Most High God? How often is our mind consumed with jealousy and envy instead of gratefulness and thanksgiving to the One who is the giver of beautiful blessings?
Take a moment to pair our reading for today with the following passage from Hebrews 1:3-4
This is the One who—imprinted with God’s image, shimmering with His glory—sustains all that exists through the power of His word. He was seated at the right hand of God once He Himself had made the offering that purified us from all our sins. This Son of God is elevated as far above the heavenly messengers as His holy name is elevated above theirs.
By the power of His WORD, all things sustained. God Himself shimmered His glory and stepped into human form to experience life, death, pain, suffering and punishment for us. Some may ask why? Why would this big, enormous God humble himself to be human with us? Because He loves us Because He desires communion with us Because He designed us to be in communion with Him Because He LOVES US. The Great I AM loves us.
Awe and Wonder:
How do we reciprocate that love? Well, we know that no works, nothing we do or say makes us right before God. Jesus did that for us on the cross--PRAISE HIM! How we reciprocate that love is to worship Him alone and love others. That is what Jesus called the greatest commandment in Matthew 22: 36-40. That is all...love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And, love others as ourselves. Not so simple. Yet that is all that it boils down to. Our reciprocation of Gods love is the implications that the Greatest Commandments of the I AM has on how we live it out in our everyday life.
~What thoughts about the power and majesty of Jesus come to mind as we read the words I AM? (see the descriptive phrases above)
~How does it weigh on your heart that the GREAT I AM, the One and only God sent Jesus because He loves us...because He loves YOU?
~All that He asks of us is that we love and worship Him alone and then love others as ourselves. Not so simple phrase packaged in two short and most important commandments. What is one way you can live this out TODAY?
I pray that on this 11th day of Advent you will seek out your Great I Am and experience his shimmering, radient Glory. Ask Him for it! He will deliver on that promise!
Thoughts? Leave a comment...let's chat!