January 25: Radiance
Genesis 40:1–41:37; Hebrews 1–2, Ecclesiastes 9:11–18
When I was a boy, my dad took me to his construction site, and told me, “Don’t look directly at the welding light; it can blind you.” But a welding flame is cool and dangerous. As my father was talking with the foreman, I fixated on the light. I saw spots for the rest of the evening, but didn’t tell anyone. I secretly feared that the radiance had actually blinded me.
The radiance of Christ is blinding—it was for Paul (Acts 9:1–31). In an epic hymn about the work of God’s Son throughout history, the author of Hebrews calls Jesus “the radiance of [God’s] glory and the representation of his essence, sustaining all things by the word of power” (Heb 1:3). It’s easy to wonder if sustainability is possible, if the world will one day crumble and fall. But in Christ, there is hope.
Jesus is much like the sun. You don’t always notice its power, warmth, or even that it’s there. That is especially the case for the cloudy days. We forget that without the sun, there would be no life. It’s easy to forget that it is warming us even through rain and clouds.
The same is true for Jesus in our lives. It’s easy to forget Him until we desperately need Him. It’s easy to overlook the daily miracles, such as life itself, when searching for something extraordinary. But the extraordinary is always present. It’s here in the work of Christ, every day. His radiance shines upon us, even when we don’t realize it.
What miracles can you recognize today?
JOHN D. BARRY
- And after these things, the butler of the King of Egypt and his baker offended their Lord the King of Egypt. And Pharaoh was angry against his two Officers, against the chief butler, and against the chief baker. Therefore he put them in ward in his chief steward’s house, in the prison and place where Joseph was bound. And the chief steward gave Joseph charge over them, and he served them: and they continued a season in the ward. And they both dreamed a dream either of them his dream in one night, each one according to the interpretation of his dream, both the butler and the baker of the King of Egypt, which were bound in the prison. And when Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, behold, they were sad. And he asked Pharaoh’s officers, that were with him in his master’s ward, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly today? Who answered him, We have dreamed each one a dream, and there is none to interpret the same. Then Joseph said unto them, Are not interpretations of God? tell them me now. So the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said unto him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me, And in the vine werethree branches, and as it budded, her fllower came forth: and the clusters of grapes waxed ripe. And I had Pharoah’s cup in mine hand, and I took the grapes, and wrung them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharoah’s hand. Then Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: the three branches are three days. Within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, adn restore three unto thine office, and thou shalt give Pharaoh’s cup into his hand after the old manner, when thou wast his butler, But have me in remembrance with thee, when thou art in good case, and show mercy, I pray thee unto me, and make mention of me to Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring me out of this house. For I was stolen away by theft out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also have I done nothing, wherefore they should put me in the dungeon. And when the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, Also me thought in my dream that I had three white baskets on mine head. And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner bakemeats for Pharaoh: and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon mine head. Then Joseph answered, and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days: Within three days shall Pharaoh tkae thine head from thee, and shall hang thee on a tree and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee. And so the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler, and the chief baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership, who gave th e cup into Pharaoh’s hand. But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted unto them. Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. And two years after, Pharaoh also dreamed, and behold, he stood by a river. And lo, there came out of the river seven goodly kine and fat-fleshed, and they fed in a meadow. And lo, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, evil favored and lean fleshed, and stod by the other kine upon the brink of the water. And th evil favored and lean fleshed kind did eat up the seven well favored and fat kine: so Pharaoh awoke. Again he slept, and dreamed the second time: and behold, seven ears of corn grew upon one stalk, rank and goodly. And lo, seven thine ears, and blasted with the East wind, sprang up after them. And the thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears, then Pharaoh awaked, and lo it was a dream. Now when the morning came, his spirit was troubled: therefore he sent and called all the soothsayers of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof, and Pharaoh told them his dreams: but none could interpret the to Pharaoh. Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I call to mind my faults this day. Pharaoh being angry with his servants, put me in ward in the chief steward’s house, both me, and the chief baker. Then we dreamed a dream in one night both I, and he: we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. And there was with us a oung man, an Hebrew, servant unto the chief steward, whom when we told, he declared our dreams to us, to everyone he declared according to his dream. And as he declare dunto us, so it came to pass: for he restored me to mine office, and hanged him. Then sent Pharaoh, and called Joseph and they brought him hastily out of prison, and he shaved him, and changed his raiment, and came to Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and no man can interpret it, and I have heard say of thee, that when thou hearest a dream, thou canst interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, Without me God shall answer for the wealth of Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph; In a dream, behold, I stood by the bank of the river: And lo, there came up out of the river seven fat fleshed, and well favored kine, and they fed in the meadow. Also lo, seven other kine came up after them poor and very evil favored kine, and lean fleshed: I never saw the like in all the land of Egypt, for evil favored. And the lean dn the evil favored kine did eat up the first seven fat kine. And when they had eaten them up: it could not be known that they had eaten them, but they were still as evi lfavored, as they were at the beginning so did I awake. Moreover I saw in my dream, and behold, seven ears sprang out of one stalk, full and fair. And lo, seven ears withered, thin, and blasted with the East wind, sprant up after them. And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears. Now I have told the soothsayers, and none can declare it unto me. Then Joseph answered Pharaoh, Both Pharoah’s dreams are one. God hath showed Pharoah what he is about to do. The seven good Kine are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years: this is one dream. Likewise the seven thin and evil favored kine, that came out after them, are seven years: and the seven empty ears blasted with the East wind, are seven years of famine. This is the thing which I have said unto Pharaoh, that God hath showed unto Pharaoh, what he is about to do. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty in all the land of Egypt. Again, there shall arise after them seven years of famine, so that all the plent shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine shall consume the land: Neither shall the plenty be known in the land, by reason of thisfamine that shall come after, for it shall be exceeding great. And therefore he dream was doubled unto pharaoh the second time, because the thing is established by God, and God hasteth to perform it. Now therefore let Pharaoh provide for a man of understanding and wisdom, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh make and appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. Also let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh for food, in the cities, and let them keep it. So the food shall be for the provision of the land, against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land perish not by famine. And the saying pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. Genesis 40:1–41:37
- At sundry times and in divers manners God spake in the old time to our fathers by the Prophets: in these last days he hath spoken unto us by his So, Whom he hath made heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds, Who being the brightness of the glory, and the engraved form of his person, and bearing up all things by this mighty word: hath by himself purged our sins: and sitteth at the right hand of the Majest in the highest places. And is made so much more excellent than Angels, inasmuch as he hath obtained a more excellent Name than they. For unto which of the Angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day begat I thee? and again, I willl be his Father, and he shall be my Son: And again, when he bringeth to his first begotten Son into the world, he saith, And let all the Angels of God worship him. And of the Angels he saith, He maketh the spirits his messengers, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, O God, thy throne is forever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom is a scepter of righteousness. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Wherefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness, above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast established the earth, and the heavens are the work of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou dost remain, and they all shall wax old as doth a garment. And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shal lbe changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. Unto which also the Angels said he at any time, Sit at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister, for their sakes which shall be heirs of salvation? Wherefore we ought diligently to give heed to the things which we have heard, lest any time we run out. For if the word spoken by Angels was steadfast, and every transgression, and disobedience received a just recompense of reward. How shall we escape if we neglect os great salvation, which at the first began to be preached by the Lord, and afterward was confirmed unto us by them that heard him. God bearing witness thereto, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the hol Ghost, according to his own will? For he hath not put in subjection unto the Angels the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place witnessed, saying, What is man, that thou shouldest be mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou wouldest consider him? Thou madest him a little inferior to the Angels, thou corownedst him with glory and honor, and hast set him above the works of thine hands. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. And in that he hath put all things in subjection under him, he left nothing that should not be subject unto him. But we yet see not all things subdued unto him, But we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor, which was made little inferior to the Angels, through the suffering of death, that by God’s grace he might taste death for all men. For it became him, for whom are all these things, and by whom are all these things, seeing that he brought many children unto glory, that he should consecrate the Prince of their salvation through afflictions. For he that sanctifieth, and they which are sanctified, are all of one: wherefore he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy Name unto my brethren: in the midst of the Church will I sing praises to thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold, here am I, and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the chikldren are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part with the,m that he might destroy through death, him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, And that he might deliver all them, which for fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For he in no sot took on him the Angels’ nature, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be merciful, and a faithful high Priest in things concerning God that he might make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he suffered, and was tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted. Hebrews 1–2
- I returned, and I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor yet bread to the wise, nor also riches to men of understanding, neither yet favor to men of knowledge: but time and chance cometh to them all. For neither doth man know his time, but as the fishes which are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare: so are the children of men snared in the evil time, when it falleth upon them suddenly. I have also seen this wisdom under the sun, and it is great unto me. A little city and few men in it, and a great King came against it, and compassed it about, and buit forts against it. And there was found therein a poor and wise man, and he delivered the city by his wisdom, but none remembered this poor man. Then said I, Better is wisdom than strength: yet the wisdom of the poor is despised, and his words are not heard. The words of the wise are more heard in quietness, than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. Better is wisdom than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good. Ecclesiastes 9:11–18