The Right to Choose

April 14th, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by Ben Lamb

Today’s scripture: Luke 2:1-7 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Ben Lamb):

Why did God choose to send Jesus to earth as an ordinary baby instead of as a powerful adult? I mean, everybody is born as a baby! Why not an enormous 100-foot tall giant, throwing thunderbolts and shouting scary threats who instantly vaporizes all dissenters? Now, that would certainly be more representative of God’s omnipotent power, and really show the masses exactly who’s boss, wouldn’t it?

Instead of “boss”, “subjugator” might be a more appropriate word to describe the above scenario. I can’t believe God wants the Earth to be populated with a bunch of terrified, cowering humans. It would be too much like the old shooting-fish-in-a barrel routine to have us perform acts of worship.

But, by sending Jesus to earth as an ordinary person who lived an ordinary life, grew up in an unprivileged home life, experienced real emotions, had to work for a living, and got to know real-life people, God gave Jesus the chance to “walk the walk” of human life. I really can’t say, “Well, Jesus (and hence, God the Creator, and God the Holy Spirit) just doesn’t know what I’m going through.”

Also, Jesus presented his gospel message to us in a non-intimidating way, which would have been impossible to do if he had appeared on the scene in thunderbolt-throwing mode.

By being a humble person who lived 30 ordinary years, then went about actually living what he was preaching, and gradually showing more and more that he truly was more than just an ordinary person, his contrast was more striking. Also, by inviting people to be his disciples, he has followers who are not puppets. Instead, we have freedom of choice.

Thought for the day: “The truth shall set you free.” John 8:31. Jesus is the Truth. John 14:6. Being a Christian is an exercise in both being a devoted follower and enjoying serious freedom at the same time; a seeming paradox which still works as well today as it did 2,000 years ago.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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