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Showing posts from May 2, 2021

Unbelief In Israel (John 12:37-43)

 One of the reasons why St. John quotes Isaiah here is that the Apostles and the rest of the Church were trying to explain why the Messiah had not been fully accepted by the people. One of the things they eventually saw—which is explained later by St. Paul—is that Israel’s rejection led to the acceptance of Jesus by non-Jews. The way they tended to think of it is that these outsiders were added on, not that they were God’s main concern. There is still something special about receiving the Law, the prophets, and the wisdom. Even so, we shouldn’t think that unbelief is good, even if God brings good out of it. It’s a great mystery, because we are responsible for not believing, but God is responsible for all the good that comes from faith. St. John seems to think that the One Isaiah saw was Jesus. Jesus doesn’t allow us to have a generic faith in God. He says at the end here that some of the Pharisees knew and believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but they were afraid to say it. We sometime

One Last Sign (John 12:27-36)

Jesus knows of his coming death on the Cross, and he’s anxious about it. This is mysterious, given that He is God, but the Church long ago defined that Jesus has a human soul, and a human will. He has to submit himself to that divine knowledge, and to the Father’s plan. He prays that God the Father would glorify His Name. The Father speaks, and this will not be the last time that Jesus prays out loud for our sake, and not his own. He and the Father have had lots of silent conversations, and we can, too. Jesus says that the time for judgment on the world has come. When St. John says “world,” we should understand that to be everything in the universe that is opposed to God. He’s not opposed to the creation itself. In 1 John, he names everything opposed to God as, “the world, the flesh, and the devil.” But this helps us understand, “For God so loved the world...” from John 3. He loves His enemies, and makes them into friends. Jesus says that after his resurrection from the dead, he will d

Some Greeks Ask To See Jesus (John 12:20-26)

 Some Greeks come to the apostle Philip, and ask to meet with Jesus. He told Andrew, and they went together to tell Jesus. Jesus says the hour has come for him to be glorified, which means his death on the Cross. The way St. John uses the word "hour" is not necessarily about a time of day, or referring to 60 minutes. Instead, it usually means that something of great significance is about to occur. St. John and Jesus both know that how things may appear is different than how they are in reality. God attaches different meanings to things than we do at times. Jesus uses the metaphor of the grain of wheat to talk about what will happen with him. He will die, but it will bear much fruit. The challenge that he then gives to us seems strange at first, but I think we know that a person who lives for others and serves them has a better life than someone who serves himself or herself. We can get a little bit worried about the word "servant," but truly, Jesus seems to connect

The Apostles Understand Later (John 12:16-19)

 The disciples of Jesus didn't understand that prophecy from Zechariah at first, or how Jesus had fulfilled it. Like you and me though, sometimes we can only see the truth of something when looking back. And the Holy Spirit will come later, personally to each person, and He will help them understand. Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead had caused a lot of people to believe in Jesus. Whether they would stay believers is another question, but the sign points to something, and the people were starting to recognize it. Meanwhile, St. John says the Pharisees realized that they weren't going to be able to keep a lid on the movement surrounding Jesus. Faith in Jesus wasn't just going to die off.