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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1 Chronicles 22:9-13 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”