The Path to Spiritual Growth

Confession

This devotional is written by Michael Salmon.

John 5:16-47

The Authority of the Son

16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working." 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

19 Jesus gave them this answer: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

24 "Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

28 "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Testimonies About Jesus

31 "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.

33 "You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.

36 "I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

41 "I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

45 "But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"

Reflection

Have you ever had the experience of someone going off on one at you on a subject that they're really passionate about, that is so overwhelmingly rich in content that it goes completely over you head?

I wonder if you have this experience when you read a rant like this by Jesus to the Jews.
It is painfully clear that the Jews did not get it… and that Jesus is showing this up. They should recognise Him but they just don't. Something in what they have built their life on and believe is blinding them to the truth. Jesus points out that it's their religious/intellectual assumptions about Moses and their desire for affirmation from man that is causing this.

As 'Christians' we too can fall into their trap and like them may not be able to see it. If our security and hope as a 'Christian' is founded on an intellectual understanding of what Jesus did on the cross or an assurance that someone has given us when presenting Christianity that has little relevance to our everyday lives we maybe in danger.

We are being called into the life of Jesus, not to get a benefit package from Him. Called to become one with God (Jn 17) as we are given His name. Called to do what He did and more(Jn 14). This faith has to produce fruit because faith without evidence of Gods life growing in us is dead (James 2). It challenges us to hunger and thirst for all the fullness of God to be made real in us but has to cost us all that we are to get all that He is. It’s a narrow and hard way (Matt 7) but it leads to life.

Are we prepared to pay up?

…rant over.
 

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