Why Didn’t Jesus Know When He Would Return? Devotional for January 19, 2022

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Today’s Bible reading from the Five Day Bible Reading Plan: Genesis 32-34, Psalm 145; Mark 13

One of the questions I am frequently asked about the life of Jesus is this: “Why didn’t Jesus know when he would return?” They ask this because of a verse in the Gospel of Mark: “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). A Jehovah’s Witness one time noted that this was evidence that Jesus was not God, since God is omniscient (that is, all-knowing). Is he right? Is this proper evidence?

We just exited the Christmas season, and the Christmas season is primarily about one thing. Gifts? Christmas lights? Visiting family? No, Christmas is primarily about the Incarnation.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,

Hail the incarnate Deity!

Charles Wesley, from “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

When Jesus came to earth as Immanuel (God with us), the name indicates that Jesus did not give up one shred of His Godhead but restricted it while He was on earth. Clearly, He was not omnipresent (everywhere), and He was not omnipotent (all-powerful–as His crucifixion indicated). Philippians 2:6-8 helps us understand this further about Christ…

… who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:6-8, ESV

So, as Jesus lived a human life on our behalf while still maintaining His full Godhead, He (like the rest of us) did not know when He would return. But know this: as He sits at the right hand of the Father, fully glorified in heaven, He knows the timing of all things now.

As for us? “Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come” (Mark 13:33).

O Rest Beside the Weary Road: Good Morning Devotional for 12.28.2021

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During our Christmas Eve service, I mentioned that so many hard things were happening to our people this week. This week has brought about even more harrowing issues that will tinge future holidays for themselves and family.

My former dean from seminary reminded us of these precious words from Edmund Sears, writer of It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. This stanza applies so well.

“And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow,
look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
and hear the angels sing!”

The Theology of Christmas Carols: White Horse Inn

Have you ever taken the time to reflect on the meaning of the lyrics found in the all the Christmas carols heard on the radio and in countless stores this time of year? On this episode of White Horse Inn, the hosts will do just that as they consider songs such as “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and more traditional carols like “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night.” Finally, they’ll explore the rich theology expressed in the world’s first Christmas carol recorded in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke (originally aired 12/18/16).

Don’t Waste Your Advent: ARBC Worship Ramp-Up (11.28.2021)

Do you approach Christmas Day with dread or with delight? Sadly, all-too-many approach it with dread because of all the activities to attend and presents to purchase.

The next holiday we celebrate en force is Christmas–a mere 27 days away. As such, today marks the beginning of a liturgical holy season known as Advent. Taken from a Latin word, it means awaiting, anticipation. This serves as a time where we calm our hearts and ready ourselves for the coming Christ-king.

Merry Christmas, Eve!

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“Virgin Mary Consoles Eve” by Grace Remington

Whereas Eve (and Adam) ushered in the curse of sin into the world, Mary would bring forth one who would save His people from their sins (Genesis 3:15, Matthew 1:21-23).

That makes Christmas very merry indeed!