Advent Devotionals // WEEK 3
12 // DECEMBER 2021
Kings and shepherds don’t mix—at least in the ancient world. Kings are stately, cultured, wealthy, and important. Shepherds are crude, unsophisticated, poor, and social outcasts. Yet God’s choice for Israel’s king was a shepherd boy, David. A descendant of this shepherd, Jesus of Nazareth, the Good Shepherd, would be the King of kings. Take some time to reflect on why God chooses the unlikely and unexpected to accomplish his purposes.
13 // DECEMBER 2021
The prophet Micah tells us that the Messiah, Israel’s promised king, would be born in Bethlehem. Imagine, King Jesus born in an insignificant town in a room of a common house where animals were kept! Wouldn’t it be better for him to be born in a palace in Jerusalem? But Jesus’s humble origins foreshadow the sort of king he would be—a servant, one who could identify with ordinary people. In what ways does Jesus’s humble birth in an ordinary town encourage you?
14 // DECEMBER 2021
Even though he was a descendant of a king, Jesus was born to an average family in an average town. The great God of the universe, in the person of Jesus, humbled himself to not only become human, but become an ordinary human. Rather than this diminishing his greatness, this supreme act of humility magnified his greatness. Thoughtfully and prayerfully read Philippians 2:5-11.
15 // DECEMBER 2021
Our concept of a ruler is typically of a person who is dominant, authoritarian—one to be served. King Jesus breaks that mold. Our King is gentle, compassionate, and a servant. Whoever heard of a king who would wash the feet of common people, or die a horrific death in their place? His majesty, King Jesus of Nazareth, “did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) How can you model your King? Who can you serve today?
16 // DECEMBER 2021
God’s love for his fallen world boggles the mind. That the eternal Creator of all things would take on himself frail humanity, suffer, and die to put the world right portrays an unfathomable love. Jesus, the one who was with God before the world began (John 1:1), who was before Abraham (John 8:58), who was the eternal God, became one of us. Take some time and thank Jesus for his great love that compelled him, the eternal Son of God, to take on mortal flesh.
17 // DECEMBER 2021
One day the infant son of a Galilean builder got the better of King Herod’s paranoia of losing his throne. Persian scholars who came searching for a new King of the Jews triggered Herod. Herod knew that somewhere in the Scriptures the answer to the new king’s identity could be found. The prophet Micah gave Herod the answer and Herod believed. But Herod’s belief drove him to murder, not to loyalty to, the new king. What is your reaction to the news that Jesus is King?
18 // DECEMBER 2021
God delights to use the insignificant, the small, and the common to transform the world. He launched his great act of redemption using the baby of inconspicuous commoners, born in an insignificant town, in a room reserved for animals. Advent reminds us that God does not require the wealthy, powerful, and popular to achieve his plans. God can, and does, use the weak, poor, and insignificant to continue his work of redemption until the second Advent of Jesus. How might God use you right where you are?