Friday, 15 April 2011

man and god

John 10:31-42 

The Jews fetched stones to stone him, so Jesus said to them, ‘I have done many good works for you to see, works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘We are not stoning you for doing a good work but for blasphemy: you are only a man and you claim to be God.’ Jesus answered:
‘Is it not written in your Law:
I said, you are gods?
So the Law uses the word gods
of those to whom the word of God was addressed,
and scripture cannot be rejected.
Yet you say to someone the Father has consecrated and sent into the world,
“You are blaspheming,”
because he says, “I am the son of God.”
If I am not doing my Father’s work, there is no need to believe me; but if I am doing it,
then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for sure that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’
They wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded them.
  He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to stay in the district where John had once been baptising. Many people who came to him there said, ‘John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true’; and many of them believed in him.

How strange to think of Jesus, now unhidden (yesterday's gospel - or maybe he came back for another try) standing talking to the people as they collected stones. No sign of contrition; certainly very little diplomacy - forcing the people to face what it is that they fear in his words. 

For it is his words that are causing the trouble. They are learning to live with his works; maybe in time they could turn a blind eye to him working on the Sabbath - maybe -  but he  cannot claim to be God.

 The Law does say they are gods (Psalm 82 -“I said, ‘You are “gods”;  you are all sons of the Most High.’)
So why is it so wrong - so blasphemous; why don't we want to believe it?

 The sense of us being gods (with the small 'g') is relationship and responsibility. If we are slaves; if we are servants; if we are worshipers - our relationship is submission without love, obedience without understanding. How we live our lives whether in accordance with God's Law or in defiance of it can be justified because,really,  it is not our idea.

If we are gods; if we truly believe that God the Father is our father then that becomes a challenge. That creates the need to have a personal, intimate relationship with God that is not based on fear or duty but on the same love that exists between a human parent and child. The same love that exists between Jesus and his mother, Mary, should be a pattern  for the love between us and the Father.

If we are gods; then we have responsibility to be like God the Father; to care; to heal; to nurture; to love the least of all. For even the least of all is 'good' in His eyes. We have to be like Jesus who will soon be washing the feet of his unreliable and fickle friends; who will be telling the truth in the face of death; who will be dying for the universe that he made - even though it is in his power for it to 'die' for him.

 Back in the Jordan the people believed in him - but believe in themselves?

Who wants that kind of challenge?



Jade said...

This is very interesting!
Made me think of how we should love like Jesus did (with part of his Great Love), and follow his example. There are times we admit we're small. Other times we need to realize our relationship which makes us royal children of God.

Margaret said...

I don't think most of us want such a challenge, but facing such challenges is the only way we get past our own egos, and, I think finally begin to make a dent in that holy relationship.