Lenten Meditation: Day 20

 

Reading

John 8:12-30 (ESV)

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. 21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

 

Meditation

When I was growing up Josh McDowell had a book entitled, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict.”  It is a classic apologetic book and one that I am sure every youth minister in the States had in their library.  There are many apologetic books out there today.  I am not against the practice of defending your faith and being ready with an answer for your hope.  I do thing that we like evidence based on our own understanding often above the supernatural intervention of the Creator God bringing us from death into life through His Son Jesus Christ.  Jesus does not need for us to defend Him.  God does not need us to have the Top Ten Proofs that God is Good.  His testimony about Himself is all that is needed.  God is just that big and mighty.  He can give testimony about Himself and it is Truth.

I once heard Josh McDowell tell a Christian young man on stage that he could not be a Christian if he did not believe in absolute truth.  I agree but Josh was not really hearing what the man was saying.  It was an answer to the question about someone born in another culture where Christianity (unlike America) was not the public religion.  The young man said it made sense for the person to believe Hinduism (in this case). The Pharisees were doing the same thing with their own presuppositions of Truth, they were elevating their true.  The young man said that Hinduism would be true to those growing up in it.  Josh said he was wrong. I disagree. There is a difference between what is true to someone and the Truth of Jesus Christ.  We like our true.  It is ours and we don’t like it when someone questions it or tries to prove that it is wrong.  Our true is built on our heritage, our experiences, our dreams and our hopes.  No wonder the Pharisees wanted to know the proof of Jesus.   We do too.  God demands that our true be submitted to His Truth. When this happens those things that are our true will be either cast away or restored in light of The Truth.  Jesus is the Light that shines the Truth onto our true and brings them into submission.

Prayer

Jesus, You are the Light that shines into the darkness of our lives.  You are the Truth that brings our true into the throne room of God, the merciful and just, to purify and set right our experiences, heritage, dreams and hopes. We praise you. Amen

Lenten Action

Look back into your journey with Jesus and identify things that at one time where true to you but God has taken as they have been submitted to His Truth and purified them. An example could be that you always believed that you should help those in need because that is what good people did.  This is your true and you felt good about it.  It was a good thing that gave you a good feeling.  The Truth is that we do good things to those in need because of what God has given to us.  It does not spring from our own goodness but from God’s common grace and care for all humanity.  Knowing the Truth provides ongoing energy and hope when it becomes hard to keep doing good on our own power.

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