March 14, 2018
Jesus answered the Jews: “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God. Jn_5:17-30
If you ever got into an argument or debate with someone who was clearly and unquestionably wrong, you’d come to find that no matter how much proof you provide them, you will never convince them otherwise.
Jesus seemed to be fighting that battle constantly with the Pharisees. When He helped people on a Sabbath, they complained that He was breaking the law, even though He proved, with their own words, that the wellbeing of people should always take priority.
And when they repeatedly asked Jesus to prove His identity, not only was it proven by His miraculous deeds, but as we heard today, He could not describe His authority and relationship with God, His Father, any clearer.
Yet, the Pharisee’s response was always one of judgment and blame. Rather than listen and understand, it was easier for them – just to call Jesus a blasphemer.
You see, the Pharisees main problem was that they insisted that they were the only authority. They made the rules, they judged, and they convicted. And together with their Roman occupiers, the Pharisees believed that they even held the power of life and death; all in the name, and in name only, of God.
But, while all along refusing to learn and understand, little did they know, that their power was actually miniscule, compared to the true power of God the Father, which was made manifest in Jesus.
The Pharisees may have been able to allow physical life, and cause physical death. But only God had the power to bring physical death back to life. Only God had the power of resurrection. And only God had the power to offer Eternal Life to those deserving of it.
And, while the Pharisees may have been able to judge others according to their own, man-made laws, only God, only Jesus, could judge people according to the Faith in their hearts, and according to the goodness of their actions.
The prophet Isaiah reminds us today that our God is a very merciful and loving God. And Jesus, at the same time, reminds us that Eternal Life does not come without true Faith, true Belief in Him, and without true love expressed in our every action.
If we are truly seeking that gracious Gift of Eternal Life with God, then we must always keep in mind – that it is WE who are accountable for ourselves in the end.
And Jesus and the Holy Spirit will always be there to help – when we BELIEVE!
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