Sunday, March 29, 2009

John 10 -- Tough Teaching

John 10 is filled with some really great images and thoughts. It is not an easy chapter to work through when you really stop and think about it. We have the benefit of hindsight, which we always know has the capacity to be more accurate than the experience of the moment. In this passage Jesus is stating the way to the fullness of life we all crave can only be found one way. The exclusivity of that thought causes many to balk. Jesus is clear, the only way to experience the fullness of life we were created for is through a relationship with him. But that was not the scandal of the day, like it can be today.

The scandal of Jesus was he was claiming to be the Son of God. Jesus claims to be one with God. We read that and tend to think, duh. The first hearers of Jesus words however, would have had a very different reaction. In fact we know that there were different reactions, as that is what we read in the Gospels. The claim to be one with God would challenge everything about the religious system of the day. If Jesus truly is the Son of God, the religious system of the day would not longer produce the results it once did. That is to say, the religious leaders could no longer use religion to entrap people, because Jesus was setting people free.

It may seem odd that the religious leaders were ready to stone Jesus, or at least arrest him. Yet the original hearers may have reacted with applause. This claim to be equal with God is not a easy pill to swallow. Truth be known I think it is still difficult to grasp. We do not often question it because we are taught by religion to not question. I wonder how many are ready to stone Jesus today?

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