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Day 4—The Incarnation Gives Us Clarity

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:1-3a, ESV) 

Often when I was a kid and things were getting out of hand with my siblings, I would go and ask my mom or dad to intervene. Sometimes they would shout a general rebuke loudly across the house, which only worked occasionally. Other times they would send me back with a stern message for all of us, which I usually adjusted slightly for my own benefit. Still other times, they would roll their eyes and remind me that we shouldn’t even be in this mess to begin with, which I knew, but didn’t really care about because at that moment we had a situation. It didn’t really matter which of these three responses they offered—they were all about 50-75% effective, depending on the day and which of us were involved. When one of them got up and went ahead of me into the room where the problem started, the effective rate shot up to 100% every single time. What was the difference? It was mom or dad live and in the flesh and not some sassy ten-year-old trying to pass along a watered-down warning. Their physical presence made all the difference—they loved us, knew what was best for us, and wanted us to live within the boundaries they put in place for us. They knew the path to our human flourishing, at least while we lived in their house, was only possible when we were obedient. My siblings and I knew our parents loved us, we loved and trusted them, and though we sometimes got out of hand, we knew that when they came into the room, they meant business—the same is true with God. 

Jesus did not come into this world because someone went and tattled on Israel. He came to set the record straight. His main focus was to reveal God’s true nature to the world and preach the Kingdom of God. There were many who came before Jesus, but none of them carried the same authority as God. None of them loved Israel more than God. They often spoke directly to God and delivered Israel messages from God, but it wasn’t the same and like many of the situations with my siblings, Israel only responded appropriately to those messages about 50-75% of the time. It was time for God to come into the room. So Jesus came down live and in the flesh to set the record straight for all of us. 

A prayer: Jesus, we are so grateful you came into the room. We confess that sometimes we ignore those things in our lives that distort our understanding of your love for us. We are disobedient and miss out on the life you promised us was possible. Help us to remember you love us and know what is best for us. Give us the courage to be obedient and expand our ability to love you better in return. We love you, Lord and it is in your name we pray. Amen. 

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