Sunday, January 23, 2011

John 8 -- Staying Power

Today I am going to break down two verses instead of my usual one. Even though they are consecutive verses I am not going to break them down together because they really worked in two completely different regions of my heart this morning. Also, because the first verse we look at are the words of Jesus and the next verse is an observation of John.

the First:
John 8:29
29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him."

Jesus, here is in what seems to be like an endless dialogue with the Jews over fatherhood and salvation, everyone seems to be adamant on being drug so thick through details in an attempt to not have to deal with reality. We see this many times through Jesus' ministry and for the most part Jesus has the same response with different wording. He usually says something to the effect of, "Read what is written in your law, I am the one that God is sending," no one ever wants to believe that they aren't the one God is sending so they get mad and yell at Jesus and then eventually kill him.

Jesus' response here has the same motivation but we see him add an element of personality. Jesus tells us why God has never left him. Here Jesus is teaching his own people, the Jews -- He is talking to friends, peers, equals in the eyes of the law and telling them that they are screwing up. His statement in this verse implies because he is obedient and does what is commanded of him by God that he will never be left by God. Being abandoned by God is a touchy subject in Jewish history so this statement would have struck multiple nerves. See this time Jesus isn't just telling him that He is the chosen one that he is the one sent as the Son of God, he is also teaching them by stating plainly that obedience aligned with this faith in the goodness of Gods decision to send his son is the key to escaping God's abandonment.

The not-so funny thing is that 2000 years later his followers and "not" followers alike are still wrestling through the truth that God sent his son and that he was perfectly obedient. Sometimes I wonder which is the harder pill to swallow; the pill that looks like God sending His son, or the pill that is shaped like someone living a sinless life.
Sin is so hard to escape and Jesus is Sinless, I want to be like him.

the Second
John 8:30
30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.

I think that I love this verse because it destroys the falsity that I hear so much (especially when I worked in collegiate ministry), "if I see a miracle, I will believe," or "the people in Jesus' day saw him so they did not have to have faith," etc. Here John is observing the practice that would consume history, hearing Jesus. Listening to Him in the heart, reading his word, or being taught byway of listening to stories of Jesus from others.

Romans 10:17 --
Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. <--> 2 Corinthians 5:7 -- For we live by faith, not by sight.


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