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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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40...come to me to have life.” John 5:30-47

A Word of Hope
I’ve been thinking about what John’s Gospel says to me, and I always race ahead to, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” (Jn 14:6) and to Jesus’ promise to Philip, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that [God] may be glorified in the Son.” (Jn 14:13) These words give me so much hope.

When we encounter Jesus in John 5, he is in Jerusalem and has just healed a man who had been sick a long time. His reputation as a teacher, healer and miracle worker attracts large crowds—also the scrutiny of the Pharisees, who confront Jesus about healing on the Sabbath and asserting he is the Son of God. (Jn 5:18)

Jesus asks them to look beyond the Law: “39You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life… 40Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

Are we not now engaged in that same struggle? As Jesus, through his life and works, revealed his true nature, he was met with unbelief, persecution and death; yet, he triumphed to walk again with Thomas and Philip offering them solace, “Do not let your hearts be troubled…” (Jn 14)

Today, it seems those who profess belief but offer unbelief. Persecution and death surround us—they trouble our very world. How easily we become distracted pursuing the glories of this world, when it’s God’s glory, alone, that is everlasting.

One of my favorite verses is Romans 12:2. It reminds me that this world, and all we pursue, is illusory, but the will of God is perfect—and I find renewal in Jesus’ words, “…come to me to have life.”

God of mercy, your love is everlasting. Even when we act as unbelievers, you are there to renew our minds, so that we may be transformed to walk in the way of Jesus. When our hearts are troubled, help us to know that when we walk with Christ we fulfill the perfection of your will. Amen.

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