The Rev. Canon Rosemarie Logan Duncan
The Jews took up stones again to stone Jesus. Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’ —and the scripture cannot be annulled— can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.
He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, “John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there.
In our gospel, Jesus is facing an agitated crowd. They are ready to stone him. Jesus asks them for which of the signs he has done do they want to stone Him. The many good works that Jesus did, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, and feeding the hungry, demonstrated that his power and marvelous deeds obviously came from God.
It is clear that the desire to stone Jesus is not for the miracles he has done, but because he speaks about his relationship with God – making himself equal to God. Jesus relays that the reason to believe in him lies in his relationship with the Father and all that he does comes from that bond. Ultimately his claim as the “Son of God” would lead to his crucifixion and the revelation of his glory on the cross.
Throughout his life, Jesus wanted people to understand how much GOD loved them and desired to be a part of their lives. He invites us to lives of faith and an ever deepening relationship with God. The message is the same for us today and one that we need to hear. The past month has been filled with so many changes that is hard to feel any sense of stability. The one thing that we can hold onto is that God is the only one who can carry us through. Today may we pray for ourselves and one another that we will strive to always place our trust in the God who loves us more than we can ask or imagine!
O Lord, you relieve our necessity out of the abundance of your great riches: Grant that we may accept with joy the salvation you bestow, and manifest it to all the world by the quality of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.