John 5: 19 - 29; The Authority of the Son
My rookie performance and I draw.... Trinitarianism. Wow. I'm glad Lee saved the hard stuff for someone else. Here's my best shot.
Earlier in the chapter we read that the Jewish leadership criticized Jesus for breaking the rules. Their contempt escalated to murderous intentions when He claimed to be the Son of God and equal to God.
In today's passage Jesus unequivocally explains His oneness with the Father. It is heady stuff and I am out of my depth for most of it. But verse 25 struck me:
"Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live."
Jesus, God in the flesh, speaks directly to these devout men. He tells them they are dead and the only path to life is to hear His voice. Based on their proximity it would seem hearing, in terms of auditory perception, would be a given. Yet the chapter concludes with Jesus's skepticism as to whether He was heard. Thus hearing the voice of the Son of God must require more than sensory perception. It requires faith in the source of the voice and a transformational response that can only happen in the heart, not the ears. Taking it further auditory perception must be irrelevant to hearing Jesus. Therefore I am at no disadvantage to the leaders who were in His presence that day. I have the same opportunity to hear His voice today. The question is do I hear Him?
If I'm honest the answer is 'sometimes' and usually when it is on my terms. Our family has gone through extremely difficult times in recent years. In desperation I cried out and heard the Voice respond as clearly as a first person conversation. But that's the easy part, when I have exhausted my worldly options. The hard part is when my agenda yields seemingly positive results. My hands grip the wheel and I accelerate down my path with blinders. The Voice speaks. I perceive it but I do not hear it in my heart. A worthy cause solicits a donation that I ignore. I meet eyes with someone in need and I turn away. A tragedy unfolds and I respond with cynicism. Jesus is speaking as clearly to me as the day John describes. With so much on the line, a choice between living and death, why do I so often choose deafness and death? It is a haunting question with only one answer. I am broken.
As Andy said this week God's Kingdom requires my work and not just when it is convenient for me. The time has now come and sometimes isn't good enough.
"Jesus, forgive my deafness. Open my heart so that I may hear You every day and be transformed into life."