God on Earth
So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him.
~ John 7:43
“There are two kinds of people,” begins a standard quip, “Those who _____ and those who ______ .” I remember my first philosophy lecture in college, when the professor stood up in front of the class and said — he was something of a joker — “There are two kinds of people.” We looked to him with full attention, pencils poised to write down his penetrating insight into human existence. He waited four full seconds. “Crumplers, and folders.”
He successfully broke the anxiety of a room full of freshmen; he was a terrific professor. But as we know, there really is one and only one important division among human beings: Those who believe that God made Himself manifest on earth as a human being, 2000 years ago, and those who do not. This is a division for all eternity, for those who realize the truth of the Bible will live with God for all eternity, and those who do not, will not.
Here is the five-dollar word for today: theophany. “Theophany” is a generic term that means the appearance of God, or a god, to humanity. There are many recounted in the Bible: The three men who visit Abraham; the burning bush speaking to Moses; the flash of light and voice that converted Paul on the road to Damascus. And, of course, the manifestations at Jesus’ baptism, in today’s Scripture. But there is one so important that all others dim in comparison, which we celebrate today: the coming of God to walk among us a human being, emptied of much of His divine power so that He might live and suffer, and ultimately die, just like one of us.
Let us take a minute just to think about how extraordinary the theophany of God as Christ was. We tend to take the event for granted, as a starting point — something that we grow towards and struggle with, but something that is a “given” in our lives. Our attitude towards Christ is like a child to his or her parents, taking their existence for granted. It is not until we mature that we consider how wonderful it was, that they existed and loved us so much; we are not mature until we understand that they did not have to exist, that they did not have to give us all the attention and effort and time they spent on us.
So let us remember, today, that Christ came to us to suffer as a volunteer, out of love. Let us not take Him for granted. He was the greatest gift of all time; a gift without parallel. And no greater love can any person or being have than this: to give His life for those He loves. (John 15:13)
Lord Christ, let me never take your life and sacrifice for grants, but always appreciate fully your love in coming to us. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer