Thursday, December 23, 2021
Luke 1:46b-55; Micah 4:6-8; 2 Peter 1:16-21
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible
Introduction & Summary
Our reading in Micah is a continuation of Micah’s prophecy of the millennial rule of Christ. God’s restoration will not be just for the strong but also for the weak and disadvantaged. They will especially know the blessing of His restoration. These promises are so glorious that it would be easy for Israel to think they were too good to be true. Therefore, God gave them a special promise, vowing to you it shall come.
Our epistle reading is intended to counteract the claim being made by some that the apostles invented the promise of Jesus’ return. It focuses on fulfilled prophecies about Christ. Peter points to his eyewitness experience of the transfiguration as confirmation those prophecies are true. As a result, Peter knows that those prophecies yet to be fulfilled will happen one day. This includes predictions of the return of Christ as judge and king.
The true message in our verse of the day is that these good tidings, which spoke of joy to mankind and peace on earth, were for a particular group of people. The good tidings of great joy and lasting peace the angels sang were for MEN OF GOODWILL. “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Today’s Verse of the Day:
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”The angels spoke peace to the earth at Jesus’ first coming (Luke 2:14). More than four hundred times in Scripture, the Lord says that we are not to fear, but to enjoy peace. The prophet Isaiah referred to Jesus as the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6). Throughout His ministry, the Lord Jesus spoke peace. To the woman with an issue of blood He said, “Go in peace” (Mark 5:34); to a stormy sea He said, “Quiet! Be still!” (4:39); and to His disciples He said, “My peace I give you” (John 14:27). The Lord calls us to peace as we await His return.
Apart from Jesus, there is no peace—not within a human heart and not among human beings or nations. With Jesus, we can experience peace that surpasses our rational capacity and settles deep within (Phil. 4:7). We are to seek and find this peace as we await the Lord’s return.
Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Gospels
My Soul Gives Glory to God
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
From the Prophetic Books of Minor Prophets
Dominion Shall Return to Zion
“I will gather the lame;
I will assemble the exiles
and those I have brought to grief.
7 I will make the lame my remnant,
those driven away a strong nation.
The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion
from that day and forever.
8 As for you, watchtower of the flock,
stronghold of Daughter Zion,
the former dominion will be restored to you;
kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.”
From the Epistles
2 Peter 1:16-21
Making Known the Coming of Christ
19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org. The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.