Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent - "...Determined to Exalt Us..."

Meditation for an Advent Sunday Morning

"This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."

Gospel of Matthew chapter 1 verse 1


Early Christian leader and theologian John Chrysostom describes the amazing transaction that occurred when God became a man -- all to our benefit.
Hearing these things [i.e., that God would become a man], arise, and conclude nothing low: because of this very thing most of all should you be amazed, that being Son of the uncreated God, and His true Son, He allowed Himself to be called also Son of David, that He might make you son of God. He permitted a slave to be father to Him, that He might make the Lord Father to you, a slave.
Do you see now from the beginning of what nature the Gospels are? If you doubt concerning the things that pertain to you, from what belongs to Him believe these also. For it is far more difficult, judging by human reason, for God to become man, than for a man to be proclaimed a Son of God. So when you are told that the Son of God is Son of David and Abraham, doubt not anymore that you too, the son of Adam, shall be son of God. For not at random, nor in vain did He lower Himself so greatly, for He was determined to exalt us. Thus He was born after the flesh, that you might be born after the Spirit. He was born of a woman, that you might cease to be the son of a woman.
And so the birth was twofold, both made like us and also surpassing ours. For to be born of a woman indeed was our lot, but to be "born not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of man,” but of the Holy Spirit, was to proclaim beforehand the birth surpassing us, the birth to come, which He was about freely to give us of the Spirit. And everything else too was like this. So His baptism also was of the same kind, for it partook of the old, and it partook also of the new. To be baptized by the prophet marked the old, but the coming down of the Spirit shadowed out the new. And just as if someone were to place himself between two persons standing apart, and stretching both his hands out were to lay hold on either side and bind them together, that is what he has done -- joining the old covenant with the new, God’s nature with man’s, the things that are His with ours.

John Chrysostom (AD 347 - 407)
Second Homily on the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 3

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