Today’s Gospel: John 8:51-59
“Look beyond what you see.”- Rafiki, The Lion King 1 ½
Yes, the classic Lion King 1 ½ movie…As I read the Gospel, these cryptic words from the animated shaman, Rafiki, came to mind. I feel like Jesus could have said these same words to the Jews when they questioned Him in this reading. It seems that the Jews are missing the gist of what Jesus is saying. He says, “whoever keeps my word will never see death.” And they say, “Yeah, right. Are you trying to tell us that we’re not going to die if we keep God’s word? Sure…and next you’re going to tell us that you have a great deal for us on a bridge in Brooklyn.” (That may not be their exact wording but, you know, translations vary.)
If it were me dealing with the Jews, I would have become frustrated and said something along the lines of “*Sigh* No…I don’t mean you literally won’t die in a physical sense…” But Jesus has far more patience and wisdom than I so, instead, He tries to draw them into a deeper understanding of who He is. But they still don’t get it. They don’t see that He is the Son of God who is the great I AM. They think He’s trying to gain glory for himself by lifting Himself up on a pedestal. And instead of trying to understand, they judge Him and take matters (and stones) into their own hands.
Unfortunately, I can see myself in the attitude of the Jews. I get tired and stressed and in a hurry. When I’m in that state of mind, I’m not receptive to the abstract or any discussions that don’t have clear cut, obvious answers. I listen with my head rather than my heart and close myself off from God in the process.
Do I limit God by thinking of Him in human terms? How does that type of thinking get in the way of my relationship with Jesus?
Jesus, help me to look beyond what I see when I meditate upon your Word. Open my mind and heart to to the mystery of You and to the wonder of eternal life in heaven.
Copyright 2019 Laura Nelson
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