Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers!
Hoping your Thursday brings you peace and solitude.
"I am amazed at the sayings of Jesus...[They] turn the world upside down." This quote, said by Katharine Butler Hathaway, is a wonderful way of explaining how Jesus' shocking statement in today's Gospel (John, chapter 8) might have affected his friends followers and enemies.
Jesus says, regarding Abraham, the father of Israel, that he himself came before Abraham. He says "I AM." This is a divine expression in Ancient Hebrew, a rough translation is essentially God. In saying this, Jesus puts himself with God. Such a statement would have been considered blasphemous and in Jesus' time would have condemned a person to death.
Jesus shatter his little world in a really big way with these words. His Word, his claim that he is not only speaking the word of God as a prophet but that, somehow, someway, he is "I AM," is about as bold as a person could ever get. And yet, Jesus emphasizes that he is no liar. He speaks truth, just as the people who have been listening and following him have been led to believe. Jesus has been a teacher that has transfixed people, uttering words and acting in a way that has made them better understand God. But when he says that he knows God in a way that no one else ever has, that he knows God in the most intimate way possible in the sense that he IS, people have a hard time committing themselves to his message.
Following the law, the people with Jesus pick up stones to throw at him. He should be put to death for what he has said, according to the understood law code.
It may be easy for us to think that we might have actually believed this person Jesus as we imagine ourselves in the story. I might think to myself, "I would never throw a stone at this peaceful, Messianic human. He came to save, how dare I help in throwing his life away?
But, pondering on the story a little more deeply, if we really stop and think about it, we might have very well picked up a stone, thinking and believing that THAT was the proper thing to do in the situation. How many times have I honestly picked up the stone to throw at an innocent person?
I pray that we all have the strength to defy the odds and to let Jesus turn our little world upside down in a really, really big way. Keep the stones on the ground and may our hearts be de-stoned in order to be in union with "I AM."
peace and blessings~
your friend bob : )