Sunday, December 21, 2014
For Which Good Works Will We Stone Him?
John 10:30 The Father and I are one.”
John 10:31 The Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?”
Jesus declares that he and the Father are one and this sets up a reaction from the Jewish leaders. In this statement he is saying that he is, in fact, God. This unity of the human and divine nature found in Jesus Christ was completely foreign to the officials. While they had observed his good works they could only attribute them to the good nature of a human. They could not see his divine nature. Jesus’ response to them is interesting when he reveals that his good works are from the Father. In other words, the things that he’s been doing have not been his doing alone, but because of his unity with the Father.
Because they could not see the source of Jesus’ good works they wanted to stone him, not for what he had done, but for his words. They missed the whole direction in which his life was leading. His actions were pointing the world toward salvation and toward the Father. By focusing so narrowly on his words they missed what he had to offer them.
Something happens when we miss the big picture of God’s activity in the world. The big picture for Jesus’ day was to hear his words and see his actions combined to reveal the way to God. Sadly the religious officials chose not to look at the big picture but to focus on being critical in every way possible.
The gift of the Christchild was the most unusual gift of all time. Jesus came as the son of God, able to do good works because he and the Father were one. Understanding the all encompassing nature of that gift means that we realize that we are invited into this holy relationship, where we too can participate in God. Think about this - - and the fact that we are also invited to do good works which come from the Father. This is truly the life of holiness, God’s holy people, participating in his holiness and revealing the good works of the Father to the world.
The world will not always appreciate the things which those who are in Christ will do. Just as they wanted to stone Jesus, so there will be those who will react strongly against those who are in Christ. Therefore we are encouraged to wear the badge with honor and wonder, for which good works might we be stoned?! Remember when the disciples rejoiced that they had been worthy to be persecuted. Do we live that kind of an active Christian life where we can rejoice for being treated as Jesus was treated? It seems that we are looking for things to be a bit easier but that’s not what Christ brought to the world. To be in Christ means that we are different, and that we belong to the new kingdom. The world won’t understand, but we rejoice in serving and suffering together with the Christchild who came to set us free!
Lord, may we be drawn into a deeper relationship with you in this Christmas season. Amen.