Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Gracious King

Yesterday, we looked at the difference between what the king did for the widow and what God did for her - the difference between a favor and a miracle. And you may be thinking that there are a lot of similarities between what the king did for the widow and what God does for His people. 

After all, the king used his power and authority to stoop low and to provide for a single widow who he didn't previously know, all so that she could have the fullness of what was hers in this world and this life and be restored to herself. 

If that doesn't sound like Jesus, I don't know what does. 

But again, we have to be careful or we might be tempted to believe that Jesus was "nice." We might believe that God sending His one and only Son to earth to die for our sins was "nice." Oh, what a nice God we serve. Always doing such nice things for His people. Always using His position and His power and His authority to make sure we have nice things. 

But again, we have to remember what the difference is between a favor and a miracle. 

Jesus is, was, and always will be miraculous. 

Yes, it's nice of Him to come. It's even good of Him. But the very fact that the Creator God could and would create flesh for Himself and come to live among us...is miraculous. Only God can do that. No one else can create flesh; no other god would desire to. If you don't believe that, just ask how many other gods have ever given up something essential about their nature to become more like us in order to live and love among us. (Spoiler alert: the answer is 0.) 

The very fact that Christ could offer Himself as a sacrifice once for all time...is miraculous. God's people had been offering sacrifices since Cain and Abel, and it had never been sufficient to redeem them. Not once. If it had, we wouldn't have needed Jesus at all. Yet, Jesus comes and declares Himself a sacrifice and we bring Him to the altar...and it's over. Forever. That's not just "nice." That's not some favor God's done for us. It's glorious, and it's a miracle. 

The very fact that God would tend to the needs of the smallest, most powerless person in all His Kingdom - you and me...is miraculous. The king didn't know the widow at all. It was someone else who was telling him about her story when she happened to walk in. (I know, "happened to," but let's leave that for now.) God knows intimately the stories of every widow, every orphan, every man and husband and father, every woman and wife and mother, every son and daughter, every old and young, every everyone and chooses to act for the smallest, most powerless persons in all His Kingdom. He doesn't need anyone else to tell Him the story; He knows it. And loves it. And comes into it. On purpose. That's miraculous. 

There are plenty of parallels in Scripture between men and God, between gracious acts of a human being and glorious wonders of God. But let's not let the flesh on the man diminish the glory of God. Let's not forget that while men may do nice things for one another from time to time, God does miraculous things for His people all the time. What God does for us is so far beyond and above what we do for one another that although it looks similar, it is truly no comparison at all.

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