Sunday, March 21, 2010

Judica: A Devotional Commentary

John 8:46-59 Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. For this reason, you do not hear: because you are not of God.”Then the Jews answered him, “Do we not say well that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus replied, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. However, I do not seek my own glory. There is one who seeks and judges. Amen, amen, I tell you; whoever keeps my word will never see death.” At this, the Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, and the prophets; and you say, ‘whoever keeps my word will never see death.’ Are you greater than our father, Abraham, who died? The prophets died. Who do you claim to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is our God. You have not known him, but I know him. If I said, ‘I do not know him,’ I would be like you, a liar. But I know him, and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it, and was glad!” At this, the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I tell you; before Abraham came into existence, I am.” Therefore, they took up stones to throw at him, but Jesus was hidden, and having gone through their midst and so passing by, he went out of the temple.

As the time for His crucifixion draws closer, Jesus describes the situation in black and white terms. Either I'm sinning or I'm telling the truth. If I'm sinning then show me where I'm wrong. When have I lied to you? Is not everything I have told you God's Word? The reason you do not believe what I say is because you are not of God. You are not God's children!

What harsh words of law! Who would dare to put things so clearly today? How many of us sit here and think how horrible these Jews were for not believing Jesus. But we do the same thing every time we sin and every time we hear God's Word but explain it away.

The Jews did not argue with Jesus. They couldn't. So they started name-calling. How often does this happen today? You're just a crust conservative. You're a fundamentalist. You're a liberal. This thing that you are saying is straight from the pits of hell.

Jesus denies their accusations. I have no demon. I honor the Father and you dishonor me. They claimed to worship God but their rejection of Jesus showed that they did not honor God or love God. They hated God just as we show we hate God when we doubt His Word. God will judge you.

But in the midst of all this horrible law that kills us we find the wonderful promises of the Gospel. Whoever keeps my Word will never see death. What does it mean to keep Christ's Word? Is He a new Moses setting up a new set of laws? Absolutely not! It is to believe what Christ promises us in the Gospels.

The Jews laugh at him just as many today laugh at us, just as we laugh at the idea of obeying God rather than man when things get difficult. Abraham's dead. All the prophets are dead. All the really important people died. Who do you think you are?

But Jesus was greater than all these prophets. And all these prophets knew that. All these prophets placed their faith in Jesus. Jesus clearly proclaims His Divinity. He is not just some new prophet. He is God. He is I AM. He has always existed and He always will exist.

The Jews knew exactly what He was claiming about Himself. They did not respond with an argument. They responded with rocks. They were already murdering Him in their hearts. But they had no power to kill God. And it was not yet time and not yet the way in which God was to die. And so Jesus demonstrated His divinity by miraculously passing through them.

When God comes to us with His law our natural reaction is not repentance. We lash out at God. What right do you have to tell me what to do. We seek justify ourselves. We throw our rocks at God. How does God respond? How would a reasonable god respond? By striking us dead and by punishing us eternally in hell.

But how does God respond? God takes your sin upon Himself. God bears your sin in a bloody death on the cross far worse than stoning. God does this for you to pay for your rock throwing and your unbelief.

1 comment:

Mr. Miyagi said...

Thanks for the great words! Our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ is immensely forgiving towards us. Doing for us what we could never do for ourselves. The innocent one dying in the place of the guilty. Bearing our sins and opening heaven for us. What a Saviour!