John

Day 26: The Ascended Lord

John 21:1-25, Hebrews 2:17-18, 1 Peter 5:1-4

In his wonderful cookbook, The Supper of the Lamb, R.F. Capon observes, “It is in the ordinary that groans with the weight of glory.”

Of course, we are naturally inclined to think the opposite—to expect that prominence, pomp, and power are the end goal, or even that they are the best evidences of spiritual achievement. But places of prominence are never for us. We are raised only that we may bow and serve. And service is seldom made of grand and recognizable gestures.

Christ, newly risen from the dead, might have summoned angels to attend Him. He might have visited kings instead of fishermen. He might have ordered a spectacular banquet, rather than serve simple bread and cooked fish on the shore.

The Christ who ascended in glory was the same Christ who served breakfast on the beach, who stooped to serve. His glory was revealed perhaps most profoundly in the ordinariness of His ministry. I wonder, when we pray for God’s blessing, how many of us ask, “Lord, use me in ordinary ways.”

Yet that is what Jesus asks of Peter. “Do you love me? Then feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep.” This was not a call to fame, but to lowliness.

If you’re like me, you may be saying, “Yes! Amen! That is precisely how I try to live! I try to serve God in the everyday things, in the little stuff.”

Is that the truth? Or, do we like Peter, the moment after declaring our love for Christ, turn and wonder what God is doing in someone else and say, “Lord, what about this man?” How quickly our hearts run to competition and the desire for a place of special prominence. How often we use our oversight for shameful gain, rather than eagerly serving.

Have we truly grasped the vision of the Kingdom of heaven? Capon further observes, A man can do worse than to be poor. He can miss altogether the sight of the greatness of small things.”

How greatly we are indebted to Christ’s condescension, to the authority of His humility, to the glory of His servanthood! Lord, open our eyes to see the Kingdom. Cause our hearts to long for the blessedness of humility.

John concludes his Gospel account with these words: “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did” (John 21:25). I tend to think of those “many other things” as grand displays of power, staggering miracles, and earth-shaking utterances. But I’m beginning to wonder if John is speaking of something else. How many words of love and kindness did Christ utter? How many meals humbly prepared? How many quiet stoopings? How many washings of feet? How many wiping of tears from the eyes? How many ordinary, plain, and small glories did He display?

“Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25). And a lot of them would probably appear very ordinary.

Written By Caleb Faires