Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Jesus tells his disciples, in today’s Gospel reading, that there will come a time when they will be asking the Father directly for things, in Jesus name, and that they will receive what they are asking for. The disciples received this news joyfully. In verse 30 they seem to think it’s about time they were recognized as spiritual people who will no longer really need Jesus. They have decided, since he is now finally thinking highly of them, that he must have come from God.
Now that I put it that way, we see how tremendously haughty the disciples were, and how little they regarded Jesus. They don’t seem to care that he is their one and only hope for reconciliation with God. They don’t think it matters that God’s attitude of care for them is based on the fact that they have believed that Jesus came from the Father. They really haven’t latched on to anything Jesus has said about laying his life down for their sakes. Not at all. They are glad that Jesus has finally recognized that they are the kind of people who should be able to speak directly with the Father.
Sadly, I fear that many in my culture and generation have the same attitude toward Jesus. They are possibly glad that he came and did . . . something . . . but they aren’t really sure what it was, why it mattered, or how it applies to them. After all, we’re good people and the Father ought to be really glad that He knows us!
Am I the only one who finds this attitude offensive? And by that I mean, am I the only one who would look at it and honestly say it is offensive to God, who gave his one and only Son to die for the sake of sinners who were at enmity with God? Do we not see that the only way we can stand before the Father is because of the Son?
What happens when the disciples think they are able to stand in their own righteousness? Jesus is executed and the disciples scatter, plunged into hopelessness and despair. May it never be so for us. Rather, may we have the wisdom and grace to look to Jesus, the one and only savior, finding in his righteousness that we can stand before the Father. Jesus, who came from the Father and has exited from this world, now sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for his people. Therefore, we can stand before God, clothed in the righteousness of the Son. This is our confidence.
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