Sunday, December 28, 2008

GOD as SON Word-Study Devotional


If God had sent His only begotten Prince, would we have felt better about worshipping Him? Or, perhaps, if He had sent a Sovereign Lord, wouldn’t we have better understood God as the Almighty Sovereign ruling over us, conforming us into obedient servants of his domain? Or what about a gladiator or a general? Couldn’t we have comprehended His leadership better—His instructions for discipleship?

But He didn’t; God sent His only begotten Son…a Son? What’s so incredible about that? There’s nothing special in the Greek language to bring out of the word, “son”. The word is used thousands of times in both the Old and New Testaments. It’s even used for the “foal” of a donkey! (Matt. 21:5; Zech. 9:9)

Maybe it would have been more believable had His Son been born through the Levitical priesthood or born into a royal family. But He wasn’t; He was born of a peasant virgin in an obscure village announced only to a few lowly shepherds and a few foreign magi. How much more difficult could God have made His Son believable as Israel’s Messiah—an international Peace-keeper—proposing an eternal kingdom? Why did God do it this way? Think about it.

Now add to your thoughts His upbringing. Jesus was subjected to a quick flight into a foreign land—Egypt, of all places! (Mt. 2:13-15) How would Joseph, a carpenter, survive in a desert country that hated his ethnicity? Fortunately Joseph, Mary, and Jesus did not stay very long in Egypt.

Our next information on Jesus says that He grew up in a typical Jewish home, “in favor with God and men” (Lk. 2:52). This had to mean that He was well disciplined, both physically and spiritually. Yet, He was still a boy, growing up and learning obedience. His only growing up story we have is when He wandered off from His kinsmen and was missing for about three days.

Then His life story jumps to about thirty years old, when Jesus was ready to be ordained by His Father: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” said God, when introducing Jesus to His ministry. Then immediately He led Jesus into a wilderness to be tempted by the devil (cf. Mt. 3:16-4:11). For forty days He, as Son of Man, hungered and thirsted in His flesh. Satan was allowed to feed on the limits and lures of the flesh to try and destroy the mission—the ministry—of God as Son. It appeared as if the flesh, the world, and the devil were against His Son’s success.

So why—why did God subject Himself as Son in such a way? There is a simple answer found in two simple words: “love” and “obedience.” God the Father so loved the world that He subjected His Son to the frame of a physical being, that He might experience your pain, your feelings, your situation, and still say, “I know where you are and how you feel; I have been there.” Don’t think otherwise, because He has! (cf. Phil. 2:5-8)

God as Son lived full of the love of His Father and in full obedience to His will. Yet this close communion with the Father did not eliminate Him from suffering. He was rejected by His own kindred; He was falsely accused even while helping people with disease and death. He walked over a 70-80 mile region, doing good, proclaiming the gospel, and teaching a few followers. And His reward: Jesus was arrested during His quiet time, pushed through a questionable judicial setting, and sentenced to death by the Jewish religious leaders. After that, He was cruelly beaten and humiliated, forced to carry a portion of His death apparatus, and nailed to a cursed cross for public display. (cf. 1 Pet. 4:12-13; 5:1; 2 Cor. 1:5; Phil. 3:10; Heb. 5:8)

Think about it: the head that brought forth words of life—a crown of thorns was thrust down upon it! The hands that healed blind eyes and cripple bodies and embraced little children—nails were driven through them! The feet that walked on water and were bent as He stooped to wash His followers’ feet—nails were driven through them! The heart that offered hope, peace, and love—a spear was thrust into it! Yet the Bible says God as Son, endured the suffering and despising the shame, did and allowed all the above “for the joy that was set before Him” (Heb. 12:2).

God’s joy and love were in His Son. Jesus’ joy and love were in obeying the Father. Why? Because both could see beyond time. They saw mankind headed into a hell-bound eternity with no way to stop. So God as Son, was born to live and die for lost mankind—you and me. What love and obedience I see in this! Do you? Has He stopped your hell-bound slide into eternity? If so, then shouldn’t you love and obey Him fully as an adopted child of His? God as Son…you know, when you think about it, it makes eternal sense.

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