John 5:31-end:

Video reading and reflection on John 5:31-end:

https://youtu.be/QWHvPsE1XEk

Bible verse and reflection:

Daily Reflection - Thursday March 26th 2020 - Revd Bob Bailey

John 5:31-end

‘If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 
There is another who testifies on my behalf, 
 and I know that his testimony to me is true. 

You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 
 Not that I accept such human testimony, 
  but I say these things so that you may be saved. 
He was a burning and shining lamp, 
 and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 
But I have a testimony greater than John’s. 
The works that the Father has given me to complete, 
 the very works that I am doing, 
  testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. 
And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. 
You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.

‘You search the scriptures 
 because you think that in them you have eternal life; 
  and it is they that testify on my behalf. 
   Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 

I do not accept glory from human beings. 
 But I know that you do not have the love of God in you.

I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; 
 if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. 
 How can you believe when you accept glory from one another 
  and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? 
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 
If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 
But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?’

Reflection
The background is that Jesus has broken the rules yet again!
A lame man is asked do you want to be well 
  and told to pick up his mat and walk? Simple love with no strings attached!
Jesus has healed on the sabbath, breaking the commandments.
Worse still he calls God his Father, making him equal to God.
The people love Jesus, THEY REALLY LOVE HIM,
But the authorities and leaders who he challenges, hate him;
  they want him killed. Soon they will have their wish.

So Jesus turns the accusers into the accused.
You need at least two witnesses to accuse someone of a crime,
and Jesus calls three; 
    John the Baptist,
    God’s visible work of healing and love in the world;
         and Moses.

Jesus slowly unpicks his accusers arguments.
He challenges their attitude of following the rules blindly.
He questions their use of scripture, as a blind means to eternal life.
He even turns Moses, 
 the great protector of the people while in they were in the wilderness,
 into his third accuser!

Why? Why does he pour such scorn on them? 
 What is the centre of his argument?..
They do not have God’s love.
They reject Jesus, God’s love, who stands before them.
They are unable to see that all of scripture, all of history,
  all of the words of the ancients prophets, including Moses
    point to this one man, to this one moment which is forever!
    Jesus… who can save!

Jesus pulls apart and strips back all that they rely on, he offers himself.
Love, so obvious, so stark, so simple in its offering, we can give nothing for it
It was shocking then, it is shocking today.
So in our need, in these times of fear, in our weakness, in our doubt
 even in the passing word of this stranger Jesus.
Pick up your mat.. and walk. Love with no strings attached as God has loved you! 
Amen

Revd Bob Bailey