9 January 2017
Thus says the Lord:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom my soul delights.
I have endowed him with my spirit
that he may bring true justice to the nations.
He does not cry out or shout aloud,
or make his voice heard in the streets.
He does not break the crushed reed,
nor quench the wavering flame.
Faithfully he brings true justice;
he will neither waver, nor be crushed
until true justice is established on earth,
for the islands are awaiting his law.
I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right;
I have taken you by the hand and formed you;
I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.
Peter addressed Cornelius and his household: ‘The truth I have now come to realise’ he said ‘is that God does not have favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him.
‘It is true, God sent his word to the people of Israel, and it was to them that the good news of peace was brought by Jesus Christ – but Jesus Christ is Lord of all men. You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea; about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.’
Jesus appeared: he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. John tried to dissuade him. ‘It is I who need baptism from you’ he said ‘and yet you come to me!’ But Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that righteousness demands.’ At this, John gave in to him.
As soon as Jesus was baptised he came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. And a voice spoke from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.’
“Do all that righteousness demands.”
In my previous career, I worked as a banker. Since I left this job in 2014, I have gone into, amongst other businesses, internet marketing. In this world, it is particularly interesting that many make themselves out to be experts in their respective fields. I remember a course I once took with such an ‘expert’, only to realise that his level of knowledge was nowhere near the level he claimed he had.
Similarly, in my previous corporate life, I would try my hardest to appear to be the smartest person in the room. In meetings and other interactions, I would often say things to make myself sound more important than I was.
We need to learn humility from our Lord and God. Despite being the Son of God and being sent to Earth as our Saviour, Jesus had the humility to ask John the Baptist to baptise Him. From the gospel, we know that this was not ‘for show’, but was something He felt was necessary and right to do.
Like Jesus, we should learn to have a humble heart and learn to focus on what is truly important. We should not be caught up in the trivial and the less important aspects of our lives. Instead, we should focus on what matters — our ‘insides’.
(Today’s Oxygen by Paul Wee)
Prayer – Lord, help us always to recognise the important and to sieve out the trivial. We ask for the gift of Your wisdom to discern and to always have the humility to do what is right.
Thanksgiving – Jesus, we thank You for teaching us the importance of being humble. We are grateful that we have You as a model to learn from and aspire to be like.