Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
John 11:45-57 (NRSV)
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death.
Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.
Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know, so that they might arrest him.
I often wonder how Christians would respond to Jesus if he were alive today. It is remarkable to me how religious leaders and people responded to the action of God in their midst. It’s not that they were blind to God’s action, but they were repulsed and threatened by it, seeking to resist and oppose it at all costs. The ministry of Jesus threatened the stability of the nation.
I wonder if God moves in ways that threaten our stability or challenge our expectations of how things should be. If Jesus was ministering in our communities, would we be excited or threatened that he was upsetting the status quo or subverting our social etiquette? “Surely he will not come…will he?” Surely he won’t put the nation, the community, the church at risk…will he? Not even the threat of death is sufficient to thwart the ministry of Jesus and the mission of God. Yes, Jesus will come, whether we welcome him or not.
Disrupting God, throughout the ages you have spoken to us, sent your prophets, and appeared to us in the person of Jesus, You have exposed our failures, restored the broken, and shown us the way of your kingdom. We invite your Holy Spirit to continue to speak to us today, to reveal to us the way of Jesus. May your will be done, and your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. Equip us to do our part, regardless of the cost. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Go with God.