WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 26, 2023
TOPIC: GIVE HONOUR TO WHOM HONOUR IS DUE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’” (Luke 1:42-43 New King James Version).
Both Elizabeth and her husband, Zacharias were from the priestly lines. They both are described as righteous and obedient to God’s commandments and regulations but, sadly, they had no child. Luke 1:5-7 says, “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years” (New King James Version).
However, after Zacharias’ encounter with the Angel Gabriel in the course of serving in the Temple, his story changed. His wife became pregnant as the angel of God had said.
Also, the Angel Gabriel announced to a virgin, Mary, who was a relation of Elizabeth, that she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and that Elizabeth had been pregnant for six months (Luke 1:26-38). Consequently, Mary visited Elizabeth.
As Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby in her (Elizabeth) leapt and she was filled with the Holy Spirit (verse 41). Elizabeth spoke with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:42-45 New King James Version). There is a lesson to learn in this scripture from the way Elizabeth spoke to Mary, who was a younger relation.
Luke 1:26-27 speaks of Mary thus: “Now in the sixth month [after that], the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, To a girl never having been married and a virgin engaged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Amplified Bible Classic Edition).
This scripture shows that Mary was a girl, an unmarried virgin, unlike Elizabeth, who, together with her husband, Luke 1:7 describes as advanced in age. Verse 36 also says Elizabeth was old: “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren” (New King James Version). So Elizabeth was far older than Mary.
However, when Elizabeth was responding to Mary’s greeting, she didn’t talk to her as someone younger. She didn’t relate to her based on her age. She humbled herself and gave honour to Mary. The Holy Spirit, speaking through Elizabeth, made her speak in a way she ordinarily would not have spoken. Elizabeth honoured her based on her divine assignment to carry the pregnancy of the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. Thus, Elizabeth referred to Mary as the mother of her Lord. “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” she asked.
Elizabeth, with the help of the Holy Spirit that filled her, had a spiritual understanding of what had happened to Mary. She recognized that spiritual things are superior to physical things. Mary’s position as the mother of the Messiah was superior to their earthly family ties. She gave Mary the honour due to her.
Elizabeth’s son, John the Baptist, who became the forerunner of Jesus Christ, whose earthly mother was Mary, later said of Jesus, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11-12 New King James Version).
John was older than Jesus but he honoured Him. He didn’t relate to Him based on His physical age. He knew that Jesus was superior to Him. He was the Messiah. Mark 1:7-8 also records the words of John: “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (New King James Version).
John’s honour of Jesus is also recorded in John 1:15-16: “John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace” (New King James Version). In verses 26-27, he says, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose” (New King James Version). Although older than Jesus, John acknowledged that He was superior to Him.
Surprisingly, in the kingdom of God, some people don’t honour their superiors or seniors. I’m talking about honour, not worship! They don’t even acknowledge their superiors, let alone honour them. Everybody should know his level. The fact that all born-again people are children of God is no reason not to know and honour your superiors. It is not only God you must honour. But the honour you give God is incomparable. Jesus said all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father; whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent Him (John 5:23). Honour God but, as you relate to human beings, also give honour to whom honour is due.
When Jesus came to John the Baptist for baptism, he initially refused, saying that he needed to be baptized by Jesus, rather than Jesus coming to him (Matthew 3:14). John the Baptist understood protocol. He didn’t say because he had been baptizing all the people flocking to him, therefore, he could go ahead and baptize his superior. But Jesus insisted he must baptize Him. “But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him” (Matthew 3:15 New King James Version).
If in your culture, they don’t honour superiors or seniors, don’t bring that into the kingdom of God! You must imbibe the Bible culture and honour your superiors. Honour the servants of God. Jesus said a prophet is honoured everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and his own family (Mark 6:4; Matthew 13:57; John 4:44; Luke 4:24). Honour the servants of God; don’t become over-familiar with them.
Whether in the kingdom of God or the secular world, honour your superiors or seniors. Start from home by honouring your parents (Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Ephesians 6:2). The latter part of Romans 13:7 says to give honour to whom honour is due. 1 Timothy 6:1 says as many bondservants as are under the yoke should count their masters worthy of all honour, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. Honour your master or boss (1 Peter 2:18). Honour your spouse (1 Peter 3:7; Ephesians 5:33). Honour the elderly or aged (Leviticus 19:32). Honour the ministers of God or church leaders (1 Thessalonians 5:12). Honour the governing authorities or government officials (Romans 13:1-2, 7).
In addition, the Bible says in Romans 12:10b that we should honour one another above ourselves. Give honour to whom honour is due. Jesus Christ honoured John the Baptist. When John was in prison, Jesus spoke well about him, describing him as more than a prophet (Matthew 11:9; Luke 7:26). He said among those born of women, there was not a greater prophet than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11; Luke 7:28). The Bible says to honour all people (1 Peter 2:17). Show honour in different ways, including courtesy and your words.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for not showing honour to those I was supposed to honour. Holy Spirit, help me from now to honour all those I am supposed to honour.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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