Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
September 18, 2019
1 Timothy 2:3-6 - This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
Have you ever used a mediator? If you came from a traditional Vietnamese culture, the answer would definitely be "yes." That's because pretty much every major decision that involves two parties also involves at least one mediator—though they aren't usually called that, of course!
Let me explain. Suppose you want to buy the car of a friend. You don't simply walk up to him and say, "Hey, I'd like to buy your car." Why? Because the two of you are friends, and if you did such a thing, he would feel obliged to sell it to you, whether or not he really wanted to. He could not tell you "no" to your face without showing you a huge amount of disrespect. That's the way that culture works. And so you would get your wish—the car—but you might also lose the friendship, because your friend would resent the way you put him on the spot and gave him no graceful way to say "no" to the deal.
So what is the right way to handle it, then? You find a mediator. You go to somebody who knows both of you—say, a mutual friend—and you say, "Hey, I'd really like to buy so-and-so's car. Do you think he'd be interested in selling it?" Your mutual friend would then act as a mediator. He would go to the car owner and say, "I think so-and-so would really like to buy your car if you were interested in selling it." Then the car owner could say "yes" or "no" to the mediator, who would then carry the message back to you. That way everybody gets a straight answer, and nobody has to deal with the embarrassment or pain of a face-to-face rejection.
You can see that this only works if there is a trusted mutual friend—a third person who knows and cares about both of you—and especially in the most important cases, a person who actually loves both of you and has a real stake in both of your lives. In the most high-stakes situations of all, this would be a relative. And that is exactly what we have in Jesus Christ.
You know very well the kind of mess we are in before God. By nature God is good, holy, just, merciful, loving, perfect, and all those good things. But we? Well, the best that can be said for us is that we are broken. We are not what God intended us to be. We are twisted and broken, people who fight a never-ending battle with the desire to do wrong, people who hurt others and even rebel against God Himself.
We need help. We need God's forgiveness, help, and transformation, specifically. But how can we even speak to Him, as far away as we are? We need a mediator. We need the closest kind of mediator—one who is kin to both of us.
And that is what we have—Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man. He has become our Savior and our Mediator, and He loves all of us. We are in the safest possible hands with Him. There is no chance of Him failing. Thanks be to God!
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to trust in You to represent me before God. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When did you ever want something, but hesitate to ask directly?
2. When have you used a friend or relative as a mediator?
3. In what specific area right now would you like Jesus to mediate for you with God the Father?