PREPARE TO LISTEN
Light a candle and pray: O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.
Request for Presence: You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!
READ Matthew 11:7-11
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
The reading begins with Jesus’ challenge to think about motives. He challenged the crowd reflect on why they went out of the way to see and hear John the Baptizer. He gives some interesting suggestions to help them thing—a reed shaken by the wind; one who wears soft clothes—all of which were extreme. Jesus knew they went to see a prophet. His challenge is to make them think why they needed to meet a prophet. Jesus ends with a paradox. John is lifted very high (none born of women greater) and yet is very low (the least in the kingdom is greater). It suggests a question: Is the least in the kingdom Jesus himself, who sacrificed everything to enter our world? It seems that Jesus is rejecting our common need of one-up-man-ship, reminding us that we’re all one in the kingdom.
Reflect for a moment on your motives for following Jesus today and for preparing to receive him again this Advent.
RESPOND TO JESUS IN PRAYER.
Jesus, your words challenge us to dig deep and get real about our motives for following you. Help me today to live with integrity, faithfulness and obedience as I wait for your coming. To glory of your name, Amen.
BE SILENT AND STILL (for as long as you want). Simply be in the presence of Jesus, who loves you, regardless.