Our final readings for the theme, “Seeking the Kingdom of God” come from both the Old and New Testament. Each are beautiful glimpses into what we’ll see when God’s kingdom is fully revealed. These images should be enough to whet our appetites to not fear that day but look forward to its revelation.
We’re living now in the “in between time” waiting for the big reveal! We’re anxious and we want more! We can only imagine the ultimate splendor God will one day reveal. That’s why Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33 ring out to us as a clear reminder of what we need to do while we wait. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
This chapter in Isaiah is a call out to us, an offer of God’s blessing of salvation. There is so much richness here to reflect on. While the words serve as an invitation, they also promise us forgiveness. What a great reading for our theme of salvation, forgiveness, and new life!
Do you find yourself with an unquenchable thirst or hunger for more of Jesus? With all that is going on in the world around us, we can find ourselves a bit parched. The evil one does a great job in distracting us from the “food” we should be eating. These verses remind us to simply, “come.”
This is a difficult passage to read. We have discovered so far during our Discovering the Bible Challenge that Jesus is the Messiah, and he came to serve. Today’s reading shows us Jesus also came to suffer for us. What love!
The words of John 3:16 ring out to me, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” The suffering and agony had a purpose and was part of God’s plan. Let’s unpack these verses a little bit.
January 6 is traditionally the day Christians celebrate Epiphany. Its significance is to celebrate when the wise men visited our Lord Jesus as a young child. We’ve experienced Epiphany in new ways since moving to Mexico in 2016. Having a king’s cake with hidden figurines from the nativity has been a special treat for us! Read Matthew 2:1-12 for a Biblical account.
You’ll probably note that the text doesn’t say these men were kings, nor does it say there were three of them. Details like that should not keep us from seeing the beauty and wisdom of what is happening here. There is much to celebrate. These men saw a star. They were wise enough to know that it meant something significant had happened, and they were curious.
Immanuel means “God with us.” It’s one of the names we use for Jesus, especially at this time of year. Just let that little nugget resonate with you for a moment. In just a few short days we’ll be celebrating the birth of Jesus, our Immanuel. Because of Jesus, we have God with us. Do you believe that?
This prophecy from God through Isaiah may have a double fulfillment. We are most familiar with Matthew’s quoting the portion that refers to Jesus’ mother. “The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” From our perspective, Jesus fulfills this without question.