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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday October 19, John 10.31-42

John 10.31-4231The Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?” 33The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.” 34Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’ —and the scripture cannot be annulled— 36can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. 38But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

39Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands. 40He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. 41Many came to him, and they were saying, “John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42And many believed in him there.

Thoughts:  Here we need to address an important theme in John's gospel.  In John sin is not really connected to actions; sin is connected to unbelief.   Here it is the scandal of unbelief, the inability of some to recognize Jesus for who he is that is the cause of tension, violence and the need for escape.   This is not so true to our modern experience, but would have resonated with those first folks to whom John wrote his gospel.  They were living in a time when tension with the synagogue was becoming more and more intense...and the issue was belief in Jesus.   So here in John's gospel we have that same issue reflected in Jesus' life.  So, Jesus leaves Jerusalem, but still many came to believe.  So it was in the first century that many left the synagogue and still many came to believe.
Questions:  Is blasphemy something that still irks us?   Do you think God needs us to protect Godself from blasphemers?   Why do you think this is often seen as such an offense? 

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