Daily Reflection – 3/24/2023
Jesus moved about within Galilee; he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near. But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret. Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, “Is he not the one they are trying to kill? And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ? But we know where he is from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.” So 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.” So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come. (John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30)
The Galileans rejected Jesus because He was not what they expected. They wanted certainty and He brought uncertainty to their beliefs. The Rabbis were not only guilty of that but they also brought a prejudice. Their teaching was that the Messiah would rise as one would restore their dignity and rightful place as the chosen people of God.
In spite of these emotions around Him, Jesus perseveres. He continues to preach the Word of God. He continues to openly declare His relationship with the Father. He continues to publicly affirm His mission and purpose on the earth. Jesus is the Epitome of convictions and passion! Nothing could make Him compromise His convictions. Nothing could make Him lay down His principles of life.
Perhaps we should take a moment and put ourselves in Jesus’ shoes. Imagine what it would be like knowing that people hate or fear you so intensely, that they are plotting to kill you. Jesus truly was a good man. He was a man of deep love and compassion for all peoples. He had never hurt or scorned anyone. Yet, he challenged the Jewish officials and now, they were beginning to plot against him. Did these men truly disagree with Jesus’ teaching? Or were they simply afraid of his popularity and influence with the people?
Finally, Jesus had had it! He spoke loudly to the people and told them: “True, you know who I am and you know where I was born and grew up. Yet, I was sent here by another, someone you do not know. However, I know him well and he sent me to you.” Many of the people were confused by Jesus’ words. The officials were frightened by his power and his influence with the people. They wanted to convince someone to arrest Jesus. However, no one had the courage to lay a hand on Jesus!
Today might be a good day to ask ourselves: “Why do I believe Jesus became one of us?” Seriously, take a moment to explore your belief. And then ask yourself: how does my belief in Jesus, shape my understanding and relationship with him? Do I truly believe that Jesus came to this earth for me as well as every person on earth? Or is this unfolding drama too familiar to us and thus we might allow this familiarity to inhibit us from entering deeply into this mystery?
In the next two weeks, this drama will continue to unfold. Will we allow this drama to unfold in our personal lives? Will we walk and talk with Jesus? Or will we stay at a safe distance from Jesus and simply be a bystander? No one else can make this choice for us! In the days ahead, what will we choose?
Prayer of The Day
Lord, I pray that I act as a witness to the love flowing from Your Heart. Give me the grace to be real, genuine and sincere. Help me to become a pure instrument of Your merciful Heart so that all my works will give testimony to Your mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.
We cannot be indifferent to the claims which Jesus makes on us. We are either for him or against him. There is no middle ground. We can try to mold the Lord Jesus to our own ideas and way of thinking or we can allow his word of truth to free us from our own sinful blindness, stubborn pride, and ignorance. Let each of us accept all that Jesus has taught and done for us with faith and reverence. The consequences are enormous, both in this life and in eternity.