Rumbles In Tabernacles: Time to Build

cornerstone

Fighting truth can have two sides of the experience.  First, it is exhausting.  The human condition is mean for truth.  Fighting against it uses odd parts of the mind toward denial is unnatural to the energy of the person and thus such energy is easily dispersed.  But when one begins to surrender to truth, the consequences can seem overwhelming.  I have used an analogy with clients that are in the early stages of addiction recovery.  If you seem like you have 1000 things to manage in the new recovery, imagine that there will be 998 things to learn gradually as new habits and for any moment be mindful of only one or two things at a time.  For some a sigh of relief then comes.  Further, I can come back to the concept that finding your life in recovery is not always comprehended in detail and that is okay.  For especially my male clients that is difficult but the difficulty in itself can be alright.

“The Father and I are one.” The Jews again picked up rocks to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?  If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and scripture cannot be set aside,  can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize [and understand] that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10: 30-38)

The Father and I are one.-  This is articulated later in the Nicene Creed (325 AD) “God from God, light from light, true God and true man consubstantial with the Father, you came down from heaven”.  Jesus is not just a flamboyant provocateur, but brings them to what I call a mix between an appetizer and an invitation.  We can see more of the context to this encounter in what Jesus prays with his apostles months later in what is called the high priestly prayer of Jesus.

I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me (John 17:20-21).

You, a man, are making yourself God-  From their perspective, this is a valid argument.  They perceive Jesus as putting himself down.  What they do not know is that in the final year of Jesus’ ministry he predicted several times that he would be crucified after being betrayed.  Again, Jesus can be seen as living to give.

Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?– Jesus confronts them now not despite their spiritual authority but because of it. Jesus points to how murky their spiritual discernment is and how should have a sober reverence that the shepherding they do represents the full God of Israel.  It is also worth considering that as shepherds they should be able to see more into the significance of the works he does.

A citation from Psalms 82:6.  The psalm is a prayer to Yahweh to punish the corrupt shepherds of Israel.  These leaders, who are charged with teaching and enforcing divine Law, are called ‘gods’ by the Psalmist because of the divine authority they wield over the people.”  (Ignatius Study Bible)

believe the works, so that you may realize [and understand] that the Father is in me and I am in the Father-  God as Father was mentioned 17 times in the Old Testament.  God as Father was mentioned in 17 times in the Sermon on The Mount alone.  Jesus was sent by the Father for redemption and also to reveal His love.

It is worth mentioning the absence of the word miracle” in John.  In Matthew, Mark and Luke it is mentioned many times.  John uses the term “works” in the dialogue but when Jesus would perform what we call a miracle John used those incidents as a larger teaching lesson by calling them signs.  What is the significance of signs?  Sadly, at this time, so little did his critics know.  But much they would soon see in words and deeds.

Below are scriptures that show the signs with commentary for the Church Jesus was building and the salvation history that was being drawn from. Think of what Jesus has been doing as 7 signs for 7 sacraments.

John 2:1-11 Marriage

James 5:2-13 Anointing of the sick.

John 20:21-23. Reconciliation.  With Jesus breathing on them the Holy Spirit, the first men are ordained to forgive in the name of Jesus.   Also please see Matthew 9:1-8. Key point in verse 28 mentioning men plural.  2 Corinthians 2:10.

John  6: 22-59.    Eucharist right after the miraculous feeding of the 5,000

John 9:1-38.     Baptism in the healing of the blind man sent to the pool of Siloam.

John 11:1-46.   Confirmation in the resurrection of Lazarus.

Last would be holy orders as already implied in the John 20:21-23.  Exodus chapter 30 and 40 are reminiscent of the priests of that order being prepared for ministry. Just like Jesus when he washed the feet of the apostles. Such men would be ordained as bones of the Body of Christ as a supporting mechanism to a living tradition of faith that has now lasted nearly 2,000 years.  Jesus started something that will always last and can always give life to those who are open.  The sustained effects are not by the holiness of the messenger or the receiver. There is a simple equation for the holiness of each who is touched by Jesus.  It is the will of God, plus the will of the person in cooperation and equals life everlasting.   There is time to look from the outside but the hope of the gospel is that the one who hears it will taste and see who Jesus with faith in Him for all He said he was.  And from that, to do all of the good works of God’s calling whether of the Church or not.

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