Posts Tagged ‘Christ’s Humility’

The Wednesday Word: Did Jesus put God First?

Jesus loved God’s Law with a passion and upheld it at every turnaround. When asked about the greatest commandment, He affirmed that it was to love God with all the heart and mind (Matthew 22:36-39; Luke 10:26-28). According to Christ, there could be no competition and no rivals when it came to following and loving the Father.

But then Jesus loses the plot … or does He? He begins to teach that we should follow Him with the same kind of loyalty we give to God. Listen to Him and consider if these are the words of a good, moral man:

He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37).

“Whosoever of you that forsakes not all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

According to Jesus, if we love our families more than we love Him, we are not worthy of Him, and if anything claims our affection and keeps us from following Him, we are disqualified as disciples.

This is strange, for remember, it was prophesied in Isaiah 42:21 that Christ would magnify God’s Law and make it honourable. However, it sounds like He is doing the very opposite. In fact, it seems He’s setting Himself up as a rival to God for He’s demanding first place. A good man would encourage people to love and follow God first and foremost! Jesus, however, by requiring absolute loyalty to Himself blocks the way for us to keep the great commandment. He’s demanding the same type of loyalty and love that only God should have.

Then He dares to say,

“If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

But what about God’s commandment to love Him with all? Christ is now demanding we keep His law as a sign of love. This surely is strange, for Christ said,

“Think not that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets; I have come not to destroy (them) but to fulfil (them)¨(Matthew 5:17).

How can Christ claim that He is there to fulfil God’s Law, and yet show such apparent disregard for it? If He loved the Law, then he would want to establish it and not take people away from it!

Furthermore, He says,

“He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father¨(John 14:22).

What? Can this be right? We know that Jesus believed the great commandment about loving God with all, but now He implies that we should love Himself above all.

Furthermore, God, according to Jesus, approves of this double-mindedness, for, He says, if we love Him, the Father will love us! Has the Father changed? Is the great commandment to ‘love God with all’ still in force? It certainly looks as if Jesus has overthrown it and usurped the position that only God should hold. Can these be the actions of a good religious teacher? Could a good moral man set himself up to rival God for the love He receives from mankind? Of course not! Any mere man who taught like that should be rejected and denounced as an evil worker.

So was Jesus an evil worker? The only conclusion is that —yes indeed He was … if indeed he wasn’t God. But rather than show He was evil, these passages actually demonstrate that He was God in human flesh. We should love God with all, and that’s why it’s perfectly fine to love Jesus with everything. Our complete loyalty belongs to God, so it’s perfectly fine to be totally loyal to Jesus. We have no other God but Yahweh, so when we put Christ Jesus first we are on good gospel ground for Christ is Yahweh in human flesh appearing!

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee   

The Wednesday Word: A Much Misunderstood Scripture

February 10, 2016 Leave a comment

“Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he Matthew 11:11″

In my early years as a Christian, I was taught that this verse demonstrated that the weakest believer in the New Covenant was greater than John the Baptist. I was told that wee Betty Murphy, a woman who at times neither knew if she was saved or lost was greater than the final prophet of the Old Covenant. Poor little Betty didn’t know the difference between predestination and a bar of soap but, according to the prevalent theory, Betty was greater than the One who faithfully prepared the way of the Lord. I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t get my head around that.

Then one day, I believe God opened my eyes. Who was the least in the Kingdom when this was spoken? Think about it. The least in the Kingdom was none other than the Lord Jesus. To this point, He had, with success, spent His earthly life making Himself the least and the last.

Consider this:

He made Himself the least when He was born to an unwed Jewish teenager.

He made Himself the least when He allowed His first bed to be a feeding trough for cattle.

He made Himself the least when He lived in obscurity for 30 years avoiding recognition.

He made Himself the least as He worked quietly at the carpenter’s bench.

He made Himself the least when, for that entire time, He refused to vaunt His divine attributes.

No one could have guessed that He was God in human flesh appearing for he made himself the least. As we read in Philippians; “….Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8).

He made Himself the least.

Consider the absolutely stunning truth of the Incarnation. God came here Himself! Does this not amaze you? In Heaven, He had been enthroned in majesty and surrounded by at least 100 million worshiping angels (Revelation 5:11). Yet He made Himself the least. Thunder, lightning and voices proceed from His throne (Revelation 4:5)…yet He made Himself the least. He was the absolute sovereign and ruler of all things…yet He made Himself the least.

As we abide in Him, we will find a growing desire to also become the least. It should, therefore, be a foreign thing for the believer to join in conspiracies against the Pastor. How can a person who sees themselves as the least do that? Likewise, it should be an alien practice for the believer to jockey for political power within the Church assembly. After all, we are called to be followers of the One who didn’t try to promote Himself but made Himself the least.

Jesus was the least, yet He was greater than John the Baptist and the Old Covenant. He brought in better promises (Hebrews 8:6) a better hope (Hebrews 7:19), a better covenant (Hebrews 8:6) and a better sacrifice (Hebrews 9:23). To do this, He became the least. He was patient, kind and without envy. He did not seek his own way and was not easily provoked. He took the servant’s place and washed the disciple’s feet and did so because He was the least.

What Matthew 11:11 is telling us is that Jesus, not some stumbling weak saint, is greater than John the Baptist. The New Covenant is greater than the Old. In Christ Jesus we see that the greatest became the least and has now again taken His place as the greatest of all.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee