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Showing posts from January 31, 2021

Jesus Calls Witnesses in His Own Defense (John 5:30-47)

 Jesus says he does nothing on his own authority, but judges according to what he hears from the Father. What's interesting about that is that Jesus has plenty of authority. Yet even here, we see him submitting to the will of the Father. Jesus is also subtly reminding people that the law given to Moses said that a witness's testimony was only valid when backed up by two or three witnesses. Therefore, Jesus calls John the Baptist in his own defense, and he also says the Father bears witness to the truth of who he is, and what he is doing. He says John the Baptist's witness would otherwise not be good enough, because John is just a man, but Jesus knows that many of the people respect John the Baptist. Also, Jesus says the works that he is doing bear witness to the truth of who he is. Basically Jesus sees himself as the one who was sent by the Father. He goes on to say that his opponents do not love the Father, because they do not believe Jesus, whom the Father has sent. Then

The Credibility of Jesus, the Son of God (John 5:19-29)

 The "truly, truly…" indicates that Jesus is about to say something new, as a revealer of God's plan. He's telling us that the relationship between fathers and sons which we understand is an analogy to his relationship with the Father. Many sons imitate their fathers, and if the man is good, the son will be good as well. Jesus says that the Father loves him, showing and telling him everything. Verse 23 seems to teach that we should worship Jesus, in the same way that we worship the Father. (St. John uses the word "honor.") Trusting that the Father has sent His Son Jesus grants us eternal life. Verse 23 also closes off the option of worshiping the Father, but refusing to worship the Son. Jesus teaches us about the resurrection from the dead at the end of time. If you break the word "resurrection" down, it means something like, "the rising to life again." "Hearing" in the Old Testament Scriptures meant something more than simple h

Jesus Heals A Cripple On The Sabbath (John 5:1-18)

 Apparently, it was believed that an angel would stir the waters. This poor man couldn't get in fast enough. This seems a bit out of the ordinary, to believe that putting yourself in a pool of water could provide healing, but it is not unheard of. In any case, Jesus cuts the red tape, so to speak. It is doubtful that the opponents of Jesus had a real objection to what Jesus had done here on the Sabbath. Instead, they probably are running out of seemingly reasonable explanations for how Jesus is healing people. Also, anyone who says that the rules the people have been living under don't matter so much is going to challenge the authority of those who hold authority based on those rules. It is prohibited in the law of Moses to do work on the Sabbath. On the other hand, a miracle of healing is not an ordinary work. Also, God would have authority to dispense with the laws as He sees fit. That is why the identity of Jesus is so important. If Jesus is God in the flesh, then he can alt

Jesus Heals A Leader's Son In Capernaum (John 4:46-54)

 This official in Capernaum probably had tried everything else. Maybe he had heard that Jesus was a healer. How difficult it must have been, to watch your own child get sick, and come nearly to the point of death. Jesus expresses disappointment at a lack of faith that he has seen in general. The context for this is Matthew 16:4, and Mark 8:38. In those places, people were witnesses to a miracle, and still asked Jesus to prove himself. Maybe Jesus thought that this official wouldn't believe, either. On the other hand, we have the believing centurion in Matthew 5:5-13. That man knew that Jesus had the power to do anything, and Jesus praised him for his faith. This official must have been somewhere in between the faithless, and the Roman centurion, because Jesus told him to go, and he went. There is some faith there, to take Jesus at his word. Faith is supernatural, but it is also simple. At any moment, you and I have the opportunity to take Jesus at his word, to trust Him. In this wa

Returning To Galilee (John 4:43-45)

 Jesus went back to Galilee from there. When he had said that no honor would come to a prophet from his own country, we can understand this. A lot of times, nobody wants to hear supposed wisdom from a kid they watched grow up. "You think you know so much? I remember when you couldn't feed yourself!" In this case, Jesus's popularity grew from things he did outside Galilee, so some people must have forgotten that they didn't like him.

Jesus in Samaria (John 4:27-42)

 The disciples wanted to know why Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman, but they didn't ask. Meanwhile, she went and told everyone in the town how Jesus knew everything she ever did. He had to be a prophet, at the very least. The disciples hadn't seen Jesus eat for a while, so they pressed him about it. Jesus used it as a way to talk about doing the Father's will, and accomplishing the mission for which he was sent. Jesus doesn't see enemies when he looks at sinners; he sees opportunity. To Jesus, we are all beloved children of the Father, who have happened to run away. Isn't it wonderful to think that no matter how unworthy we think we are, Jesus sees who we are supposed to be? That is what it means to call Jesus our Savior and friend. Jesus reminds the disciples that none of the good things that will happen are because of them, but they will see God's work in their ministry. When we share our faith, the same is true for us. He stayed in Samaria, in the tow

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (John 4:1-26)

 Jesus knew that the Pharisees could make trouble, the closer he was to Jerusalem, so he withdrew to a smaller place. As it says, he had to pass through Samaria. The Samaritans were viewed as half-breeds and heretics. This is why the woman was surprised when Jesus began to talk to her. It was about noon. Jesus knows when someone is ready to receive Him, and he is drawing her out, as someone would draw the water out of the well. Sometimes when Jesus gets close, we don't necessarily run away, but we would rather talk about something else. The woman deflects Jesus, or tries to, a couple of different times. Whatever we are ashamed of is the thing that Jesus needs to take away from us. This woman has had five husbands, and probably it was unlawful, otherwise she wouldn't feel bad about it. Jesus knows why she's here in the middle of the day; she's been ostracized by everyone in her community. What does it mean when it says, "living water"? It could mean simply movi