Day 26

The Ascended Lord

from the John reading plan

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

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5 thoughts on "The Ascended Lord"

  1. Ken Fuller says:

    I think a lot that I must live out my life as a Christian in BIG ways – bringing others to Christ, standing as a witness before a crowd and boldly proclaiming the change He has made in my life. If not, I’ve failed Him. In Christ’s life and after His resurrection, there were few times like that. The Gospels contain events of insignificant encounters. John eludes to there being many more events like this that could have been documented. Our call is to let Christ live through us – whether big or small, it does not matter; it’s our faithfulness that is the key. Last word to me in this study – “Be faithful and follow Christ!”

  2. Brandon says:

    Guilty. I miss the beauty of the ordinary bc I instantly take calling and make it comparison looking for significance. How near is the danger of missing His many splendid things bc of the arrogance of what I believe I need to be in order to be used by Him. God, forgive me. Ordinary in your name is beyond superior to extraordinary in my own name.

  3. Luke Blackburn says:

    The centerpiece of Jesus’ ministry was his humility. He never sought to be revered but instead aimed to serve and show others His glory through selfless acts. Humility is a key part of the Kingdom of God. No one member is above another in the Kingdom. Instead, we all serve one another and contribute our gifts to the body of Christ. When we lose ourselves in the service of others, we are made whole in the spirit of Christ.

  4. Kevin says:

    This is a sweet way to look at it. How often do we pray to see someone’s life transformed? Something extraordinary? How often was God doing the lowly work? We are here to serve and bow, not to inherit great things. Sometimes I get caught up in the big things hoping to work a miracle or something, but how cool would it be to ask God to be able to show his love in service during the ordinary tasks.

  5. Nick Crawford says:

    I am so guilty of looking to my left and right to my brothers and sisters and comparing what I am doing in my life to theirs. God has given me a unique and specific calling in my life, that no other can fulfill, and He is calling me to not compare myself to what another is doing, but to humbly serve God and His people in His everyday, ordinary callings.
    Lord, help me to seek humility and a spirit of servanthood over recognition from others and seeking for myself to be lifted up. Help me to put You Father and others before myself, and to be an example to other believers of the love, humility and perfect servanthood of Jesus.
    Thank you Jesus for stooping low to us, surrendering all to show us Your great love for us.

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