Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday, May 24 - Jody

Today's reading from the Chronological OT/NT Reading Plan is Psalms 12-14, John 8:28-59

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

I'm going to look at the John passage today.
 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants[a] and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.[b] 

39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would[c] do the things Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the things your own father does.”

Jesus is calling the Jews out on their sin. He is saying - hold strong to me, to my truths. Know me - this truth will set you free. This whole concept was new to his audience - set us free?! From what - we are Abrahams' descendants, we are special - sin and slavery can't touch us, we've got the right bloodline!

They are falling back on the security of being descendants of Abraham. They are acting as though that's their "free pass". That's all they need to be saved. Who can judge them?? God can. Jesus is breaking down these assumptions, he knows that his time on earth is coming to a close, he knows that these individuals are plotting his death, and yet he is still trying to save them. Wow - what love.

John McArthur talks about it wonderfully in one of his sermons.

He is demolishing the Jewish security of being related to Abraham. And they felt that automatically just because they were the seed of Abraham they would have the blessings whether they sinned or whether they didn't sin. And Jesus says that's not how it is. There is no security in religion. There's no security in race. There's no security in good works. Only in Christ is sin forgiven and a man placed righteous before God. It has nothing to do with his ancestry. And Jesus has told them they need forgiveness, and they deny it. And Jesus told them that they need to repent, and they refuse. And Jesus told them they don't know God, and they don't believe that. And Jesus told them they'll die in their sins and they laughed. "We are Abraham's seed. What could happen to us?" And so Jesus gets right down to the real issue. You see, the Jews had all their eggs in one basket, the seed of Abraham. That was their gilt-edged guarantee that they were in forever. And when Jesus said to them in the last portion that we studied last week, He said, "I can give you truth, and I can make you free," they said, "Us? We know the truth, we're already free. We're Abraham's seed, what do we need?" See, they never recognized their need ever. That's so common for people to think they are secure when in fact they are damned by the very thing they hold on to is their security.
Everybody has a security, no man can live without a security. You have to have it. And if you're not so infantile as to suck your thumb and rub your nose with a blanket, your security is something else. Everybody has to have a psychological security. You can't live without it. And tragically most people's securities are going to be that which damns them to hell forever because they're false securities. And we're in the business of trying to explode those false ones and give to a man the only real security, faith in Jesus Christ.

What am I taking security in today? What are things that bring me safety, comfort and assurances that are getting in the way of true security in Jesus Christ? Further on in our friend John McArthur's sermon:

They had no idolatry, now mark this, they had no false heathen religion, they had all the right religion but they were damned. Sobering thought. They were doomed right in the middle of the right religion. You say, "What happened?" Very simple, it was an institutional ritual and not a personal relationship, and so much of religion is institutional, all of it. And what God demands is a personal relationship with Him. And theirs was purely ritualistic. They went through the religious motions and even though they were sitting in the middle of the truth, they were damned by their false securities and their inability to see the personal relationship they needed with God rather than an institutional ritual. 

Father God, reveal my securities. Reveal those things in my life that I am depending on for safety and assurances outside of you. Help me God, to open my heart and be willing to go where you want me to go, do what you want me to do and love you beyond any earthly security I may cling to. Reveal yourself to me today Father creating a new and eager heart for you. Amen.
Tomorrow's passage: Psalm 15-16, John 9:1-23


Miriam said...

Amen. Great post.

One other thing stood out to me... John 8:47 - "He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

That made me think of Tammi's post from Friday. They couldn't hear what God was saying through His son, and so all the rest of us have the opportunity to hear and to believe. How great is our God?

TammyIsBlessed said...

Excellent post!

Reminds me of a few things.... First this Revive our Hearts broadcast from yesterday (no such thing as coincidence!).... http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/roh/today.php?pid=10884

"They’re professing something they don’t possess. They’re enduring Christianity rather than enjoying Jesus, the author of Christianity."

Another quote...
"it’s not enough to have a belief in Jesus Christ, belief that He’s the Son of God, to even believe that He came and died on the cross." The demons believe all that! So that's not enough.

"You have to, you need to ask Him to be Lord of your life, to be boss of your life, and get to know Him in a personal relationship."

Lastly - it reminds me of a saying that is so true - there are no grandchildren in Christianity. The fact that your parents are children of God doesn't give you a free pass. Each person has to decide to become a child of God. No grandchildren.

Jody said...

I love those quotes Tammy! Thanks for sharing!

Pamela said...

Great post and excellent comments too. I had never really thought about the fact that they were "They went through the religious motions and even though they were sitting in the middle of the truth, they were damned by their false securities and their inability to see the personal relationship they needed with God rather than an institutional ritual." Very thought provoking, thanks.