Daily D – John 11:47-48
So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and were saying, “What are we going to do since this man is doing many signs? If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
JOHN 11:47-48 (CSB)
Leftovers and remainders, unfinished business and final thoughts regarding this amazing chapter:
- True Religion is never a Me-First affair.
- True Faith always has more room to grow.
Consider how many times Jesus taught and lived the truth that whoever wants to be the greatest will be the servant of all. Remember how many followers turned away from him because they had more important commitments. (See Luke 9:51-62 for examples. Remember the multitudes in John 6.)
The religious leaders loved their place and their positions more than they loved God. They were so religious they could not see who Jesus was. Their religious rituals and rules prevented them from knowing and experiencing Jesus, God with Us, when he looked them in the eye, when he spoke words of truth and life, and when he performed miracle after miracle.
Please do not allow religion to prevent you from knowing and experiencing God.
Martha had a fundamental faith. She was well-instructed regarding who Jesus was and is and forevermore shall be. She knew him well. Her belief system was finely tuned. Notice what she says so easily that even today many faith leaders trip over:
- “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died,” (verse 21). She knew Jesus as a healer.
- “Yet even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you,” (verse 22). She knew that nothing is impossible with Jesus.
- “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day,” (verse 24). She knew death was not the end of the story.
- “I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world,” (verse 27). She knew Jesus.
There are some religious professionals on Twitter I would like for Martha to talk to. Her theology is practically perfect in every way. Even so, it was about to enlarge and multiply and grow exponentially. Dead men who come to life again expand even the most well-founded faith.
Where do you see yourself in this chapter? Are you a Thomas? Are you a Martha or a Mary? Are you one of the sentimental crowd? Are you one of the accusing crowd members? Are you one of the religious leaders holding on with everything you’ve got against this interloper who wants to change everything for everyone?
The one person we will all identify with eventually is Lazarus. Unless Jesus should return before our time expires, we are going to die. I hope this does not spoil your day. Even so, if we know Jesus in a loving relationship like Lazarus and his sisters did, then one day Jesus will come and wake us up like he did Lazarus.
Here is what I want for you and me:
- I want each of us to know and experience Jesus for who he is.
- I want each of us to know him deeply and personally day by day and moment by moment.
- I want each of us to live with the certainty that not even death can separate us from his loving hold on our lives.
- I want our religious thoughts and practices to align with this reality and to attune to his heart for all people everywhere.
I will live confidently in who Jesus is and all that this makes possible.
Our Father, stretch our faith. Grow us in your grace. Empower us to live confidently since we know that nothing is impossible with you. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”