When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” (John 2:9-10)
Relate: Adam came first. He is the biological father of everyone. He walked and talked with God in perfect unity in the garden. He lived a portion of his adult life free from sin. God gave him stewardship over all other living things and Adam named all the animals. That means he identified for each their true character and nature. Jesus is greater than Adam.
In a world that had fallen to an all time spiritual low, Noah remained righteous. When everyone else fell into depravity’s evil grip, Noah remained righteous still. When called to build an ark, Noah faithfully obeyed. Even though the world had never known rain, Noah obeyed God and built on. The world around him mocked, the animals gathered, and Noah faithfully built on. The entire earth was liquidated but Noah floated his stock. Jesus is greater than Noah.
Abraham was called to go to a land he never knew. He left home, comfort and familiarity behind. He made his home as a stranger in a strange land. The only piece of real estate he ever owned was a burial ground for his wife. But before that, Abraham believed God for a son even though he was closing in on a hundred and his wife was turning the corner on ninety. He became the father of nations and the spiritual father of many more. Jesus is greater than Abraham.
Isaac, a child of laughter remained faithful to God all of his days. Jacob wrestled with God and would not let go. His name change became the founding touchstone for the Hebrew nation. Joseph stayed true to God in a pit, in chains, in prison, and as prime minister. Judah, praise, became the father of the kingly line. Levi, joined, became the father of the priestly line. These patriarchs gave their names to Israel and its twelve tribes. Jesus is greater than all of them.
Moses was raised in the court of the greatest empire of its time. After fleeing into the desert, he returned by mandate of God to bring that empire to its knees and lead the children of God to freedom. He was the first leader of those two million slaves turning them from a group of refugees into a nation feared the world over. He stood on the mountain to receive the commandments of God by which all nations (should) still base their laws. He authored the first five books of the Bible. Jesus is greater than Moses.
Samuel was faithful to answer the call of God even as a child. From a young age and for the rest of his life he spoke out the words of God as a prophet. He was also raised to perform the office of the priesthood. In fact, Samuel was the only man ever to perform the threefold function of prophet, priest, and judge. The only man prior to Christ, that is. Although he was a king maker and a king breaker, Jesus is greater than Samuel.
David was a man after God’s own heart. Anointed to be king at a young age, he was faithful to wait for God’s timing. As a shepherd boy he wrote love songs to God. As a king he was humble and devout enough to continue to do the same. Many of those songs we still sing today and they have become some of the most famous poetry to ever be written. David was the touchstone by which all other kings, before and after were compared. Jesus is greater than David.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Malachi. Each of them spoke the words of God to the people of God. Jesus is greater than the prophets.
React: These and many more can be named as great men of God who came first. From Adam to John they were a line of witnesses, they were models. They were heroes of the faith. They were men of God. Jesus is more. He is God incarnate. When he came on the scene, the new wine flowed. A new era dawned. A new Kingdom was inaugurated. There is no one greater. He is king, and He invites us to be citizens in His Kingdom.
Let me never forget that You are greater. No matter what hero I might admire, You are greater. No matter what role model I might emulate, You are greater. I am so thankful for the cloud of witnesses from Adam to Boenhoeffer, from Caleb to Dad. More than any of those, I am thankful that You are who You are and that You have done what You did. You are greater.