Today’s scripture: John 8:39-47
Who’s your father? For many of us this is a simple question we can answer it within our next breath with little or no hesitation. For others this question may strike pain and anger because our father may not have been around or even worse we may wish they weren’t. Either way, having a good father or a rotten one, carries a linage that meets us in our contemporary world. We are the children of our father.
What does that mean exactly? We reflect the experiences and the heritage we were brought up in. I know phycologists will argue with me there, the concept of nature verses nurture quickly comes to mind. But let’s just think about this for a moment, either way you are affected positively or negatively by the experiences of life we live in. A person born into poverty starts life a few steps behind those born into wealth. Those born into wealth may or may not live up to the expectations others hold them too.
The good thing through all of this is we do not have to live in the shadow of our fathers. Our lives are our own we answer not for the actions of our fathers but for the actions of ourselves. Our fathers start us on the paths we face we ourselves mut walk them. Today Jesus speaks about the legacey of our ancestors and how we deal with them. The people of Israel were to be the children of God, sons of Abraham yet they didn’t always follow their father’s ways. Jesus speaks of this. Justice and faith is the ways of God. Those who are children of God follow in these footsteps. If we turn from those ways we are not taking after God but the advisary.
So who’s your father?
Today’s scripture: John 8:12-38
There are always words that seem to be powerful in our lives. Words that bring pride and inspiration. Like the name our high school mascot or college teams. Maybeeven our state or nation. Sometimes the words peopl speak seem to hang around our heads like some timeless source of encouragement. When I listen to the speaches given by Martin Luther King Jr. or the late presidents I often get goose bumps as if they were speaking directly to me. The same goes for the words that I read spoken by Jesus.
Thrughout John’s Gospel there are som words that keep coming up: word, light, water, and love to name a few. These words have meaning that is often lost to us but may have carried bigger understanding to those that heard them. For example one word like light. To ancients light was very important, there was a true and real fear of darknessin the ancient world. Back then even in the cities they could see these wonders of night called stars. Night actually was dark, the only sources of light came from the moon, stars, and from very inadiquate tourches and oil lamps. But light had deep meaning. Light expelled darkness and was seen as a gift from the gods. Where darkness was the reign of the demons like Pan. Light was also seen as knowledge from God, so when Jesus says that “I am the Light of the World” he is saying much more than we understand in our contemporary era. He is saying I am the source of life, I am the source of peace, I am the presence of saftey, the absence of fear, the wisdom of God! Those that come to Him will not fear the chaos of the darkness because the very presence of the divine is near.
Word also is an important. Like light, word has a link to the divine. In most ancient cultures the most people could not read, of the ancients the Jewish people probably had the highest literacy rate. Those who were educated ran the world, words equated power, which equals a blessng from the gods. Words represented knowledge from God. So when the word became flesh what John is really saying is the wisdom and knowledge of God became human. Humanity had direct contact with, and could interact with God.
These words may not seem all that improtant to us, but they were very powerful. Little words that brought such hope. These words brought truth and freedom to the people, they were freed from the overlords because it released them to wisdom that was prior only revieled to the elite.
Jesus can give and still gives this hope even today. As science and technology increases the availability of knowledge is even greater than ever before. We live in an exciting era of history. The question is, is this knowledge going to bring light or darkness? And how are we going to use the knowledge God has given us, will we use it to bind people or free them?
Scripture: John 7:40-52
No one has ever spoken like this man. This is one of the most profound statments in all of scripture. I’ve heard a lot about church and religion but there is something different about Jesus. He divides, He confuses but we still say no one has ever spoken like this man. What do we do with what he says?
We each have to dicide what we are going to do with the words that Jesus said. We have to dicide for ourselves is He a prophet, is He a deciever, or is He the Christ? Does His words bring comfort, judgement, or confussion? Jesus has always caused division in people but there is one thing He always does, and that is to encourage us to think about our relationship with God. Today I encourage you to think abut the words that Jesus has said over the past days, the words others say about Him, and consider what He has to say to each of us. I encourage you to be open to His friendship and be willing to join in with His disciples along the journey.