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by davesandel on March 23rd, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

John 7:28-29

Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said, “You know me and also know where I am from.  Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.  I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”

And they tried to arrest Jesus, but “no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.”  The soldiers are caught in mid-arrest by this man Jesus.  They simply cannot perform their simple task, and Jesus walks through them.

Soldiers do what they are told.  When they don’t they are punished severely, sometimes killed.  Their generals demand absolute obedience, so they can place absolute trust in them.  Listening to the power of Jesus’ words puts these soldiers in personal danger.  But they cannot help themselves.

They must want so badly to believe what he is saying.  Not knowing God is the way it is; no one knows God, the infinite, omnipresent source of all things.  But Jesus says that he knows God, because he is from him.  And what’s more, Jesus says that we can know God too.  All we need to do is follow Jesus.  He will lead us to what we desire more than anything else in our lives.

Jesus minces no words.  “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).  This pilgrimage with Jesus promises blessing upon blessing.  His healings have restored person after person’s relationship with their friends and neighbors.  His words draw strength and courage from his listeners that they didn’t know existed.  He looks into the eyes of the soldiers and invite them, too, to follow him.  And they almost do.

Following you, Jesus, as you said, means to follow you through the cross.  Instead, the soldiers died for other, lesser causes.  They turned away at the last moment.  I want to follow you and follow you and follow you, Lord.  And not turn away from any blessing, no matter how dark or dry or senseless it might seem.

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