Bible Reading: Luke 1:67-80
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68)
The greatest missionary was not Hudson Taylor or David Livingstone, or Jim Elliot. Christ was the greatest missionary, for He came all the way from heaven to earth to visit His people. In Christ coming, we learn of God’s love for us.
For Christ to come to us, He had to lay down His glory. He took upon Himself the nature of man without compromising His deity. He gave up what was comfortable and enjoyable to come and fellowship with sinful men. See His heart of humility and love.
In Christ’s incarnation, we also learn of God’s faithfulness. Christ came to fulfil the promises and the holy covenant God gave to His people long ago that there would be a Saviour who would take away their sins. In God’s good time, the promise God gave to Abraham was not fulfilled until thousands of years. But, this goes to show how God never forgets His promises. He remembers and is always in control, working His plan of salvation according to His infinite wisdom.
We also learn God’s heart, His innermost desire for us. Luke 1:74-75 says, “that we, being delivered from the hands of the enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days”. God desires for us to be made holy and righteous from our sins so that we might serve Him. God is not a dominating tyrant that wants His ego fed. He is loving and draws us to holiness because there is the greatest joy and fulfilment we could ever gain — we were designed that way, and it is the best thing for us.
In Christ’s visitation, we also learn God’s tender mercy. How can a holy God mingle with sinful men? Moreover, how could a holy God hang crucified upon that tree bearing His Father’s wrath for mankind? It is because of His love and mercy that He shows to men. Christ came into this world of darkness so that light may shine in it — hope for sinners perishing and doomed to perish. How did He do so? He Himself, being the Light, entered into the darkest of dark places — the cross where God’s wrath was poured out in full. Yet, in the darkest place, He overcame to give a glimmer of light, a beacon of hope, for lost people like you and me. He did this to guide our way to true peace — rest in returning into His arms, to holiness, righteousness and service before Him.
Before Christ left, He sent His disciples to go out and continue His visitations. He sent His disciples to make more disciples so that all men might hear the gospel’s message. He taught His disciples what it meant to suffer for God’s Kingdom, deny themselves and take up the cross. He taught them what it meant to love — to lay down their lives for their friends, to sacrifice, and in some cases, literally their very lives. We are called to follow in Christ’s footsteps, to love as He has loved us. We are recipients of His love, O that the Lord would teach us to walk in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days, serving Him without fear. Who of us loves Him when He has loved us so much? Why are our hearts still worshipping idols of our own hearts? Why would He love sinners like us?
Lord, please have mercy on us. Thank You for Your love for us, which is unfathomable and everlastingly vast. Forgive us, for we take Your love for granted. You love us, yet we love the world. You love us, yet we love ourselves. Who can love You unless You draw us closer to You and plant such love in our hearts? We are weak, O Lord, and sin takes over us. O sanctify us by Your Spirit, renew our broken hearts. Teach us to enjoy You and walk with You in Holiness. In Jesus’ name, amen.