Stooping low

So many things that Jesus did--He stooped to do.  Think of the essence of Jesus' ministry:  

Heb 4: 14* That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him.
 15* This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.
 16* So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.

Jesus--washed the feet of arrogant disciples--stooping low.

Martin Smith in his book  A Season for the Spirit, writes about Jesus baptism.  In his description of the event--Martin worked at reading the Biblical accounts, while at the same time, erasing the artist conceptions of the event.  Think of it--most pictures you see of Jesus baptism there are two people and one 'Dove'.  John, Jesus--and the Dove--create the picture.  

That however, is very likely a poor description of the event.

Mark 1:5:  People from Jerusalem and from all over Judea traveled out into the wilderness to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.

Luke 3:21   When all the people were being baptised, Jesus was baptised too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened

"All the people" suggests more than John, Jesus, and the Dove.  Picture rather crowds of people.  Picture hundreds of people on the shore--in the water--clamouring around John and Jesus.  So here we see Jesus stooping.  
Now I quote from Smith's book:  "But instead of looking down on them from afar, secure in his own guiltlessness, Jesus plunged into the waters with them and lost himself in the crowd.  He threw away his innocence and separateness to take on the identity of struggling men and women who were reaching out en mass for the lifeline of forgiveness."  


Question time:

  • Do we as Christians look down on others?  Afraid to be 'with' them?
  • Are we willing to be lost in the crowds of the needy?
  • What kind of crowds do we usually hang with?
  • Are we seeking, looking, and finding the struggling ones--and choosing to identify with them?  Or, are we happier in our comfy pews?

More from Smith:  "It was at that moment when Jesus had thrown away his innocent individuality in exchange for that identity of needy, failed, struggling human beings that...the heavens opened, the Spirit descended--and the Voice said: 'You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."


What if:

  • The Spirit will come only when we identify with the lost, hurting, and extremes of our city?
  • Father is pleased, not with how well we warm our pews, sing our songs, listen to sermons--but He  is pleased when we are in the dirty water with the crowds?


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