The Good News for the day, March 15, 2018
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent (247)
Jesus said to the Jews: “If I talk about myself—self-centered—what I say carries no weight. But there is Someone else who talks about me—on my behalf. I know that what He says on my behalf is true! (You religious folks sent some people to John, the Baptizer, and he told and tells the truth.) I do not accept human testimony, but I am telling you this to rescue you. John was a burning, shining lamp; for a while you were content to enjoy his light. What I have to say is more important than what John said. The goodness that the Father has given me to do—these activities I do to tell people (this is about me) that the Father has sent me. The Father who has sent me has also had something to say on my behalf. But you have never listened to—even heard—His voice nor seen his self-revelation—and you do not have his message permanently inside of you, because you don’t believe in someone he has sent. You search the Bible, because you like to think you have permanent Life through them; but what they are about is me. In fact, though, you just don’t want to come to me to come alive! Your human praise is nothing to me—I know that you don’t really care to love God deep inside you. I came in the name of and in the family of my Father—you don’t welcome me. Somebody else comes along in his own famous name—and you welcome him! How can you ever believe, when you accept praise from one other—but don’t look for the worthwhile evaluation that comes from the only God? Don’t imagine I’m going to accuse you before the Father: the one who is going to accuse you is the Biblical Moses, whose writings have given you your hope. For if you had really believed Moses, you would have believed my person—he was writing about me. If you don’t get the Biblical writings, how will you ever believe in what I am telling you?” (John 5)
Jesus spoke these words—and speaks these words. He is talking about Persons versus masks and faking it—the difference between religion and religiosity—personal, caring for someone else as opposed to trusting shadows, praise and fame. He is warning people to believe in God more than in a Bible quote; He warns you and me not to think we’re “the good guy”—then act to control others, be indifferent, or deny others’ needs. It is not how much bible you know, but what’ s inside you.
Everything Biblical and Created bears witness to your call—your need to love one another, to repent of fake living, to discover simplicity and humility—to change from controlling others to serving. We grow up thinking that just obeying biblical rules, the rules of family, society, and social class is all we need, but it isn’t! You and I need to see persons around us–really see them, not judging, but accepting, caring, loving them as family equals, as really belonging beside you—for this Your Father has sent you.