Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Thought

“I know you are Abraham’s descendents, but you seek to kill Me because My word has no place in you.  I speak what I have seen from My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”  John 8:37-38

In the text Jesus is speaking to “those Jews who believed Him” (John 8:31), but there is apparently an element of what Jesus is saying that is getting past them because they continue to maintain and defend their lineage to Abraham and their means of self-justification.  I think maybe there is a clue in verse 33 when the Jews said, in responding to Jesus’ statement that “the truth will set you free”: “We have never been in bondage to anyone.  How can you say, ‘You will be made free?’”

It is the curse of “cultural conditioning”.  Jesus was pointing out to the Jews that they are not acting as Abraham’s children: “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham”.  Abraham’s “works” were in accordance with the Word of the Lord.  He obeyed and he had the faith sufficient to move when the Lord said to move.  Remember that Abraham left his home land strictly on the word of the Lord.  For humans, what Abraham did made no sense at all! 

Now Jesus is standing before the people as “the Word”, and they do not believe Him for this simple reason: Jesus is calling them to go against the current of “cultural conditioning”.  He is challenging us all to evaluate our words and deeds not in accordance with what we have been taught from generation to generation – or even according to what our neighbors do and think.  Jesus is challenging everyone – then and now – to measure life according to The Word; Holy Scripture, and not according to how we have been conditioned by a largely secular culture (which often even exists within the Church!) that seeks to justify itself only by its own moral and ethical standards due to willful ignorance of what is written in Scripture.

Scripture was written as the means by which the Lord has revealed Himself to us and continues to speak to us today.  We must not get lost in the culture, for it is not this culture that will be saved on the last Day.  It will be only those who endure to the very end.

No comments: