Archive for April, 2013

blunt or patient ?

I’m finding it hard to read John looking for clues as to how Jesus SAW people … and then I am reminded that Jesus was so in tune with teh Father, that He only did what He saw the Father doing, and only said what He heard the Father saying – it was a natural overflow from father to son (the same relationship you and I are called to have)

When I remind myself of this the whole task becomes a whole lot easier!

I no longer wonder about the tone of  Jesus’

But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going (Jn 8:14b)

It becomes clear.
He’s not saying it (as I might) as a loaded statement, with the intent of goading the other. No. I see it as being given as a factual statement. ‘You don’t know …. That grieves me’

Jesus goes on to say

I pass judgment on no one.

Again  this is not  loaded statement. It is not said to provoke. Though it is said to challenge.

Jesus is painstakingly trying to explain.
He takes time to describe the indescribable a relationship that is unlike any that they have ever known, heard about. The God the Jews (the pharisees and saducees) had worshipped, the one true God they were devoted to serving, was indeed true. But He was so much more than they had understood and more than they could understand. At this point the same applied to the disciples of course. They didn’t know, they couldn’t work it out (yet) because it hadn’t been revealed to them. They were simply ordinary men who were compelled by the Spirit to follow Jesus – but who on the surface did it because they saw something different in Jesus, something holy, that they just longed deep within to have. Jesus had a relationship with Father God that spilt out into his everyday life. It enabled Him to see with eyes of love.

He sees the people as lost and therefore speaks not only with patience rather than frustration, but is patient. That makes all the difference.



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freeing love

Jn 8 the woman caught in adultery

Jesus doesn’t debate her crime, or get into the nitty gritty of the situation – what we see here is that Jesus sets her free -not only free from the guilt and the shame – free from the fear of being stoned to death too – but also free to follow a new way of life

Jesus gives her that

What kind of eyes does Jesus have for those who would have condemed her?
Those two are eyes of love
He offers the scribes and Pharisees (and all the onlookers too) a reality check, that they too are not without sin and thus had no grounds to condemn another.

What is interesting is that sinlessness is what the scribes and Pharisees longed for. Their theology was that if all could live without sin for just one day the Messiah would come. Jesus’ words set them free from that illusion … in response they crept away, no doubt pondering His words and His teaching.

Later in the scriptures we read Jesus saying that that he/she who has been forgiven much, loves much. The woman in the story was saved from immanent death. Her sins were forgiven. She was given new life by Jesus. That’s His gift to us too. Freeing love.

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all knowing

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. (Jn 7: 37-38)

Jesus knew we are all thirsty
And that all who came could drink to overflowing

But He also knew that many wouldn’t recognise their thirst, or turn to Him as the source of watert that would satisfy

Didn’t stop Him though

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Trying to seeing people through Jesus’ eyes using the gospel of John isn’t that easy – we are given so little information, most of what we read is how Jesus was seen by others.

Jn 7 is a good example of this – the people thought he was crazy and self-deluded, the Pharisees through he was dangerous.

Jesus wasn’t deflected from His mission
He didn’t run away when the going got tough – He stayed at the feast of tabernacles for three days and on the last day he said

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart[l] shall flow rivers of living water.’”

I think the ‘anyone’ (everyone) is crucial here.
In some ways Jesus wasn’t partisan – His mission was for the whole of humanity –  but what he did – as we see elsewhere – was focus on the few. He called the many but worked diligently with the few God gave.

I love it that this passage that the faith of some of the people began to be stirred.
Seeds were planted – and nurtured
That so many did follow Jesus – not only the 12 – we know of 72, we know of the 120 in the upper room etc –  inspite of his coming from Galillee shows that the people recognised something special about Him.

How did He view them? – in this passage we see patience and commitment, that speaks of love.

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running late

Jesus was urged to go the feast by his brothers.
They wanted Him to declare Himself.
He wasn’t ready – He knew HIs time hadn’t come
So he said he wasn’t going …

“You go ahead, go up to the Feast. Don’t wait for me. I’m not ready. It’s not the right time for me.” (Jn 7:8 Msg)

Then He went.
Without having attention drawn to Himself He began to teach …

I’m not sure what this teaches us about the way Jesus saw others  – but it is clear He wasn’t hurried by ‘peer’ pressure. He took His time to discern.

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(Didn’t do this over Easter – then a week at a conference with NO wifi! grr)
Finding my rhythm again

John 6

Jesus could see that the closest followers – the 12 – were perplexed, distressed even – by His teaching.

What interests me is He didn’t explain more or try to persuade – but rather asks a direct somewhat abrupt question.
“And are you too wanting to go away?”

Peter gives a statement of faith – at that point he truly believed that Jesus was ‘the Holy one of God’  …  no affirmation from Jesus, at least outward words – does His body language show it, does He pat Peter on the back or walk down the dusty road with His arm round him? We dont’ know … only that Jesus reveals that He knows one of His closest had let the enemy in his heart ….

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