Monday, September 24, 2012

The Question

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they said something that made you say "I'm sorry, what did you just say!" Maybe you have been around someone who said something and you looked at the person you are with and said "Did I just hear what I thought I heard?" I have three kids and from time to time they will say things that make me ask my wife "What did he/she just say!?" Sometimes your kids will say something about the "old lady" in the check-out line in front of you, sometimes they might be singing the lyrics that are a little racy not having a clue as to what they are saying. My wife and I glance at each other with a look that says "I hope no one else heard that!"

As I was reading the other day I came across a passage that made me wonder if this type of reaction happened behind the scenes. Take a look:
John 16: 1-4  - 1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.
Did you see what I am talking about? In verse 2 Jesus said "the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God" If you read the previous verses you will see where Christ is talking about the vine and the branches, how the world hates him, how he is going away but will send the Holy Spirit and then seemingly from left filed he says "the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God" and he keeps on speaking. As I read this I wondered if any of the disciples looked at each other and said with their eyes "Did he just say what I thought he said?"

There is another scene where this same kind of thing happens:
John 21: 18-22  - 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 
What Jesus was saying here is Peter, you are going to be killed, crucified for me. Peter seems to almost say "I'm sorry but it sounds like you just said I am going to die for you!" and out of this sense of almost disbelief he see John and says "What about him?" Maybe Peter is thinking surely he did not just say what I though he said so I will see if he says the same thing about John. 

Throughout his ministry Jesus said some pretty radical things. Thing that made many people say "Did he just say what I thought he said?" Some investigated further and some just dismissed him as a crazy man. What separates Christ from all other religious people and what separates true Christianity from all other faiths has to do with his claims to be God. Take a look at a couple:
John 10: 25-33 - 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
33 “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

John 14: 5-11  - 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
These claims were a stumbling block for the Jews when Christ walked among them and are a stumbling block for many today. Many have read these passages, many have heard the claims of Christ and have said "Did he just say what I thought he said?" The bottom line is not did he say it, we see that he said it, the ultimate question is do you believe him. Do you believe he is the Son of God, God come in the flesh to save mankind? That is the question we all have to wrestle with. That is the question we will ultimately have to answer. 

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