Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Juvenile behaviour

Gospel John 8:21-30
Again Jesus said to the Pharisees:

‘I am going away;
you will look for me
and you will die in your sin.
Where I am going, you cannot come.’

The Jews said to one another, ‘Will he kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, “Where I am going, you cannot come”?’ Jesus went on:

‘You are from below; I am from above.
You are of this world; I am not of this world.
I have told you already:
You will die in your sins.
Yes, if you do not believe that I am He,
you will die in your sins.’

So they said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus answered:
‘What I have told you from the outset.
About you I have much to say
and much to condemn;
but the one who sent me is truthful,
and what I have learnt from him
I declare to the world.’

They failed to understand that he was talking to them about the Father. So Jesus said:
‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man,
then you will know that I am He
and that I do nothing of myself:
what the Father has taught me is what I preach;
he who sent me is with me,
and has not left me to myself,
for I always do what pleases him.’
As he was saying this, many came to believe in him.

It is amazing how early in our lives we develop the hunger for power. My toddler granddaughter is now at the dictatorial stage where everything would be just as she says, given the opportunity. 

She is building  a world where she wants to be in control. Where she sits in the car; where we sit in the car; what we watch on tv; who has what cup; what bedtime story she has and who reads it. Digging up bits of garden that we would rather stayed put is a favourite at the moment. Any attempt at diverting or refusing her usually results in a very loud 'No, Naddy' and a typhoon of a tantrum. It's exhausting for her and for us and, at the end of the day, it's needless. I have to admit that I sometimes say 'no' just for the sake of it.  What is cute bossy-ness in a two year old is not going to be acceptable or healthy in a twelve year old.

Once you are an adult, expecting the world to revolve around you is probably a fair definition of sin; especially when it makes you more godly than God. 

This is what Jesus is warning these Pharisees about. They have a toddler's worldview; so entrenched in what they believe that they do not see what is before their eyes. If this Nazarene with unsavory friends and a disrespectful attitude to the Law is the Messiah, then they don't want him. No matter who he has fed, healed or forgiven. The answer is 'no'. 

In the Twelve Step programme supporters and sponsors learn that they cannot change others; the other person must come to them - this is known as 'attraction rather than promotion'. 

At the end of three years, Jesus knows that he has done all that his Father has asked him; he has walked and talked; invited and cajoled. He has come to learn that there will be some people he may never reach - but the invitation still remains.



Philomena Ewing said...

Yes and yes ; great post so why do I stupidly still hold out for the day when things will change ?! I never learn.

Word in the Hand said...

The fact you question means you are learning Philomena - it's people with all the answers he struggles with - I think.