Read: Habakkuk 1:1-3:19, Revelation 9:1-21, Psalm 137:1-9, Proverbs 30:10
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Relate: What does glory look like? “We have seen His glory.” When I read that, I think of Isaiah. He saw the Lord, high and lifted up and the train of his robe filled the temple. I think of Daniel. He saw the Ancient of Days with a throne of fire and ten thousand times ten thousand standing before Him. I think of John in Revelations. He saw one seated on the throne before a sea of glass with lightening and thunder, and before the throne the four living creatures never stopped singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.” This is glory.
But this is not the glory John says we have seen. John says we have seen the glory of the Word made flesh. He left heaven to become our neighbor. And he doesn’t come in power and majesty, he comes in grace and truth. We see the glory of a simple man who wrote in the sand. He came in grace “neither do I condemn you” and truth “go and sin no more.” We see the glory of a man preaching on the mountainside (truth) while healing the sick and feeding the hungry (grace). We see the glory of a man despised, beaten, bruised, shamed, and nailed up on a cross. (Who didn’t stay dead) We see the glory of of the word made flesh, a baby born in a garage.
React: The glory of Jesus is most clearly seen through humility. He had the potential for power. In the garden when the soldiers came to arrest him, he told his disciples that he could call down legions of angels. In the desert, when Satan tempted him to turn stones into bread, Jesus didn’t say he couldn’t do it. He said he wouldn’t do it. Jesus had the potential for power, but he only used it for the good of others.
When I say I want to be more like Jesus, usually I am saying I want to live holy. This is a noble goal, but the more I see who Jesus was, the more I think that being like Him is more about living humbly than it is living holy. When I saw I want more of the power of God in my life, I am usually saying I want to speak or act with authority. I want to see miracles. But when Jesus spoke, it was always for the benefit of others. When he performed miracles, it was an act of grace, to meet the need of another. If I want to be like Jesus then shouldn’t I be full of grace and truth, living in humility always seeking to meet the needs of others. Isn’t that what Christmas, what giving, is all about? Maybe if I can become better at disappearing, we the world might be able to see what glory really looks like.
Respond: God, help me to get out of the way. The world desperately needs to see Your glory, but I’m too concerned about radiating my own. Help me to learn better what it means to live like You. Help me to learn better what it means to be full of grace and truth. Help me to live humbly, that the world may see Your glory.