Advent Reading: Col 2:1-3 (underlined below)

Promise Made |
Prior to the coming of Jesus, evangelism followed a come-see pattern. As John Piper notes, “There is a geographic center of the people of God. There is a physical temple, an earthly king, a political regime, an ethnic identity, an army to fight God’s earthly battles, and a band of priests to make animal sacrifices for sin” [1]. Thus, God blessed Israel to show Himself as God to all nations. As Solomon prayed at the Temple dedication, “May [the Lord] maintain the cause … of his people Israel, as each day requires, that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other” [2]. Then, when the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon and saw his wisdom and wealth, she proclaimed, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the Lord your God!”[3].

Promise Kept | When Jesus came into the world, however, the pattern shifted from come-see to go-tell. Piper continues, “There is no geographic center for Christianity; Jesus has replaced the temple, the priests, and the sacrifices; there is no Christian political regime because Christ’s kingdom is not of this world; and we do not fight earthly battles with chariots and horses or bombs and bullets, but spiritual ones with the word and with the Spirit” [4]. Thus, as Jesus told the Pharisees, “[The Queen of the South] came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here” [5].

Promise Meant | The wisdom and wealth of Jesus exceed even the greatest human wisdom and wealth. Solomon spoke the wisdom of God; Jesus is the wisdom of God [6]. Solomon built the Temple; Jesus is the Temple. Therefore, in Christ, “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [7]. The shift from place (Israel) to person (Jesus) changes how we live. No longer are we called to amass great wealth to show the world how rich our God is; now, we give our wealth away to show the world that Jesus himself is our greatest treasure.

Prayer | Lord, In Christ, you have fulfilled all promises. Not only is he a king in the line of David, he is much greater than a king – in all wisdom and wealth. Loosen our grips on this world as we “go tell” about the great riches in Christ. Amen.

What is the non-advent reading for today? Is. 7-8.
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[1] John Piper. “To Prosperity Preachers: Teach Them to Go.” 25 May 2010.  |  [2] 1 Kings 8:59-60 ESV  |  [3] 2 Chr. 9:8 ESV. See also 1 Kings 10.  |  [4] Id. at [1].  |  [5] Matt. 12:42 ESV  |  [6] 1 Cor. 1:24, 30.  |  [7] Col. 2:3 ESV