This devotional is Day 6 of the 25-Day Advent Series “The Wonders of His Love.” Follow along with us as we grow in grace through the Christmas story by subscribing or bookmarking the home page above!
Scripture: Luke 1:26-33
Before Jesus uttered a newborn cry, in fact, before He was even formed by the Holy Spirit within Mary, He had a definite destiny.
In a plain declaration of His name the angel Gabriel asserted that Mary’s child would embody the very glory of God:
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:30-33
This one startling announcement to a young girl broke the bitter silence of centuries. In just three verses Gabriel reveals that all the Old Testament prophecies would suddenly and wonderfully culminate together.
Hope had finally come – for the Jewish people and for the whole earth.
Behind His Name
Gabriel assigns a name that seals the baby’s fate. “Jesus” is from the Hebrew Yeshua meaning “Jehovah saves” (Matthew 1:21). He is the salvation for a world wrecked by sin.
As believers we know this truth well. We know that Jesus is our Deliverer from a wretched eternity apart from God.
But there’s more. Gabriel goes on to make other critical claims about the child: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
The Old Testament Scriptures commonly used the name “Most High” for the Lord as a clear expression for His unequaled supremacy and sovereignty.
“For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth.” Psalm 47:2
These two words “Most High” convey God’s undeniable omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. He is the greatest Being in the universe, the One to be exalted above everyone and anything else.
As the Son of the Most High, Jesus holds this same matchless majesty. He beckons us to bow down and see Him in His fullness.
Before taking His first step as a toddler, before stepping toward the cross, Jesus was already extraordinary in every way.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
In being called the Son of the Most High He was deity dwelling upon earth. The true, holy God of heaven condescending to the lowliest of places. The King of Kings in sight.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
[Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…” Hebrews 1:1-3
Such details about the Son is where the rubber meets the road. Christmas beautifully warms our heart in such a sweet and soft way, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. However, our delight and reverence cannot stop there. It must go beyond feelings to willful submission.
This Jesus, this beloved Rescuer and Lover of our souls, was able to save because He was God in the flesh. Though taking our human form, He walked and talked and laid down His life with divine authority.
As our Savior, He is also our King.
As Son of the Most High, He deserves ALL of our adoration. ALL of our affection. ALL of our days.
He, not us, must be on the throne of our hearts.
I remember when I was baptized in the ocean as a teenager, that one question from my youth pastor seemed to freeze all the excitement in my heart:
The pastor asked: “Dani, do you commit to follow Jesus for the rest of your life?”
He had already asked if I had trusted in Christ’s death and resurrection for forgiveness for my sins, but as a very new believer this second petition caught me off guard.
While I struggled to stand against the slaps of the surf, I considered the weight of his words with awe and trembling.
Jesus was not only my loving Savior, He was to be my trusted Master.
He would not merely define my Sunday activity, the “religion” box on a questionnaire, or my answer for life after death. He was to be my Shepherd, the Voice I followed in hills and valleys of life, the very Substance of who I was and what I did.
He would be my Anchor in the waves both now and forever – holding me fast – and in my faith I would never want or ought to let go.
I responded to the pastor, “yes,” knowing there was no turning back, but overjoyed that my Lord was eternally with me.
Through His Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit Jesus speaks into my life and over my life, and I daily wish to acknowledge this like the servant-hearted Mary.
The same is true for you, sister in Christ.
In this hectic holiday season and every other time of the year, may this baby turned Savior be “Most High” in your heart.
May we welcome Him to mold us, direct us, humble us, use us for His everlasting Kingdom. He truly will reign forever!
Questions for the Heart:
- As the December picks up with holiday business, how can you keep Jesus “Most High” in your mind and heart? Commit to starting your mornings, even only for 5 minutes, with a prayer of surrender and moment in the Word.
- Are you currently in a place of confusion, unrest, or sin? Remember who your King is. Reorient your heart with His desires and find peace in His simple, highest command to love Him and love others with all of who you are (Matthew 22:37-40).
- Are you willing to submit to Jesus, even with the hard teachings of His Word that don’t align with what the world says? Examine your convictions thoroughly to see if He is both your Savior and Lord.