An Object Lesson

And the word of the LORD came to me: “Take from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon, and go the same day to the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah. Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it on the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’ And the crown shall be in the temple of the LORD as a reminder to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah. “And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”
Zechariah 6:9–15
An Object Lesson

The Lutheran church has a long and rich history of adorning our sanctuaries with works of art that teach the people about God. Our stained-glass windows, the crucifix, the altar, and the colors of the vestments and altar cloths all serve to teach and remind us of God’s Word and promise. And here in Zechariah we see a crown made from gifts of gold and silver that becomes an object lesson to teach about the coming Branch, who will fill the offices of King and Priest. Not everyone in Zechariah’s day wholeheartedly believed God’s promises that accompany this lesson. But this did not prevent their fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Likewise, the obedience of faith is lacking in many today, oftentimes even in our own hearts. But Jesus’ trust-building message keeps coming to us: “Repent and believe in the Gospel”. The voice of our Lord calls us to grow in faith and life. Through Him we are granted faith and through His gifts that faith is sustained. Thanks be to God that it is.
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