Sun, 11 December 2016
(Nm.24:2-7,15-17; Ps.25:4-9; Mt.21:23-27)
“A star shall advance from Jacob,
and a staff shall rise from Israel.”
And the light of that star is reflected in the eyes of Balaam, who, though a pagan, is gifted by God with the clear vision to see the beauty and wonder of “Israel encamped, tribe by tribe,” “like gardens beside a stream,” “like the cedars planted by the Lord.” And as He is seen in the nation of Israel blessed by the Lord, so His glory is reflected in the heart and words and actions of everyone who believes and proclaims in truth that Jesus is that star, that Jesus is the Son of God.
Those who remain close to the teaching of Jesus, and to His ways, “shall have the sea within reach.” There shall be an abundance of wisdom at the ready for those who are graced with ears to hear His words. “He teaches the humble His way,” yes, and guides us on straight paths which lead directly to the Most High. And “with eyes unveiled” we shall gaze not only on His reflection in the fields of this earthly existence, but on Him Himself as He is in heaven.
The teaching of Jesus is divine and He Himself is divine, above whose authority there is no other. But His light can only be seen, His words can only be understood by those whose hearts are open to truth and willing to walk the path He sets. If the “chief priests and elders of the people” closed themselves off from Him in a political quandary, we must not do so. Instead we must be as His apostles, in whom the tribes of Israel are truly aligned perfectly, and have as ready a response as we know Peter had on the shores of Galilee, as Thomas had when He appeared in their midst: He is our Lord, our God. This we must see. This we must know. And this we must proclaim.
The star has risen in our midst; the Savior has come. Now we await the fulfillment of that light and must bring it to bear in this generation. Now we must follow that star where it leads.
O LORD, let our eyes see the coming of your Son,
and our hearts put faith in His authority.
YHWH, let our eyes not be blind, blind to the glory that stands before us in your only Son. Let our eyes be open to vision of your kingdom, the kingdom He brings to this earth. Let our tents be set in line with your will, O LORD; let our hearts be humble before you.
LORD God, you show the humble your way; you bless them with your presence in their souls and your light shining in their lives. Teach us this day the way we should walk, the way marked out for us by your Son. Upon Him your authority rests – let us not question His divinity but believe in His power and so in your own. May His Word transform our souls.
The wisdom of the ages comes to us this day in Jesus and in His words. Here is the ocean at our hands, before our eyes, that all we might know of your goodness, LORD. Let us honor Him as our King who has come and follow in the way He leads.