Close, faraway

As I am up to the gospel of John chapter 15:20-21 (verses 20-21) in my reflections here is my reflection on those verses from the Bible:

These verses predict a rather somber and bleak future for the twelve disciples of Jesus. In using the well known modern expression of something unfortunate befalling someone, the disciples’ future is unfortunate, not a matter of wealth and prosperity, but on closer analysis their lives will not really be a matter of good or bad fortune if this is how we use an expression of luck in the modern world.

In the Bible I find no evidence to support luck in God’s dealing with his people. In this case, it seems more a matter of people’s choosing to act on God’s people. They choose to be offended by the disciple’s leader, Jesus, and in being so, attack his people, his disciples.

In his long monologue, seemingly spoken during his ‘last supper’ with his twelve disciples, Jesus predicts that his disciples will emulate him in being persecuted. Antagonists will pay attention to what the disciples teach and preach, their ‘words’. Their confession and profession of faith in Jesus is put under the microscope. Antagonizing people do this not because of the disciple’s faith itself, but because of the object of their faith, Jesus.

Are those who persecuted Jesus’ disciples completely ignorant of Jesus, his works and his mission and origin? Do they know nothing about him?

In my view, they do not listen. They see Jesus from their own lens, meaning Jesus and his message offends them.

If the antagonists knew whom they were persecuting — they may change and turn to him out of his goodness and life that they get to know. But do they appear selfish, not thinking of the other — Jesus?

In my own selfishness, how do I not think of Jesus? How could I persecute him unknowingly? And how could anybody? Pray that we can serve him closer.

Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.¬†I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled¬†and do not be afraid. — Jesus to his disciples.

– John 14:27

I do not know for sure what Jesus meant by this verse, but I trust there are scholars who have done their homework on it. As for me, here are my thoughts on this verse which are not definitive or claiming what Jesus actually meant, but I am convinced of a literal interpretation rather than a mythic one.

I do believe that Jesus can give us peace from his Spirit if we may ask him, but I would not like to put a parameter on how this happens to individuals, but it can happen and come from Jesus.

There is a more doctrinal angle one could read into this verse as well, such as Jesus bridging the gap between himself and his disciples thus making them right with him. Jesus is making people who believe in him right with himself and God which is a Christian theme in the New Testament.

Considering the above verse, what kind of peace is Jesus talking about here? To not let anything come between the disciples and Jesus as he has made his peace with them. So, do not allow yourselves to turn away from him unless you lose that relationship.

Could this verse be about inner peace? If Jesus gives them inner peace, why would they have to do something so their hearts would not be troubled? Unless this verse means to not let anything disturb the inner peace Jesus gives. This inner peace could come from his Spirit and dwells within them so do not let anything disturb that.

Finally, both of these interpretations are equally true as when someone believes in Jesus, they have made been at peace with him, and can receive his Spirit of peace in their hearts as evidence of this peace with Jesus. Just do not lose that relationship with him; let nothing overcome it.

The light pushes through the shadows…

The pathway of thoughts, at night, is like walking a path, in the night. I may stumble if there is no light to guide me.

How can I rely on my thoughts in the dark of night? But if the light comes to shine on, then the light provides the trustworthy path–The light is the goodness, life and transcendence of Jesus Christ through His Spirit.

So, he comes to me as he came to others…

Jesus goes through places his enemies were to get to Lazarus and heal him, but more, it would be to raise him from the dead in the end. They were wanting to stone him. But Jesus wanted to help someone he loved and had to go through that place even though his enemies were there.

For Jesus, walking as the light of the world meant he was walking in love, although darkness was around him, with enemies here, and there, his love broke through the darkness, his love is light. Jesus was of the day, the light. He could see where he was going in the spiritual darkness about him. He did not fear trouble.

Even when he will die, His light is never extinguished, as he rose from the dead…

Him being the light is being love. He was burning with love for a sick man. He loved Lazarus and went through the dark place where his enemies wanted to stone him so he could get to him.

His motive was to get to Lazarus and make him well, with love fully in him. He who is the light is love so nothing will hold him down.

Jesus is truly alive and alight with a pure and fiery love. This love would make him go heal a sick man.

The light of the world always has time for us.

A technique for a miracle?

When God performs a miracle, as recorded in the Bible, I may not know God’s mind in bringing about that miracle, but I know God is acting within integrity and that the miracle is not fraudulent or untrustworthy.

In terms of the reason for a miracle, I can learn to discover with confidence that in the case of Lazarus being raised from the dead, the method or technique of this miracle was to bring glory to God. I can therefore presume that any miracle that God does is to bring glory to God.

Glory is brilliance and radiance. Glory is a demonstration of God’s power. And glory points to evidence of God. Jesus demonstrated God’s glory when he performed a miracle in God’s name. Onlookers believed that Jesus’ words — that he and God were one — matched the evidence, the miracle. As a result of the miracle, to God’s glory, many people there and around believed in Jesus.

At the time, many Jews in Jerusalem had come to Bethany, where the sisters of Lazarus stayed, and sympathized over the untimely death of Lazarus. Lazarus was dead in a tomb for four days. This tomb I mean in the New Testament sense which has a different meaning to the modern sense, but it was indeed a sort of entombment relevant to the time.

A miracle came together in a moment for the sisters. But in case we think miracles should always fall from the sky, a technique of a miracle is for a greater glory, in that the giver of the miracle is glorified, at the right time and the right place, and there is indeed a God-directed purpose for such a miracle.

Celebration at Martha’s

In days past, I have heard the saying “party at [insert name of person’s] place” but no one would have known to say that during the first century. Unless you were a visitor from the 21st century, like Bill and Ted would be, if it were a movie. Back then they seemed to have called it celebrations. In this day and age, we do not seem to need celebrations. There is so much death around, why would anyone celebrate. What is there to celebrate for many people? Is there still a reason to celebrate anything now?

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