Thursday, March 26, 2009

Daily - 3/26/09

Friday's Gospel
Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

1 After this, Jesus moved about within Galilee; but he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him.

2 But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.

10 ... when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but (as it were) in secret.

25 So some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, "Is he not the one they are trying to kill?

26 And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Could the authorities 10 have realized that he is the Messiah?

27 But we know where he is from. When the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from."

28 So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said, "You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.

29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."

30 So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come.

The feast of Tablernacles was one of the three times where Jews within a certain distance were required to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Jesus was bound to go there, but as we saw in the Tuesday's gospel, the conflict with the scribes, Pharisees, and high priests (John collectively refers to these leaders as "the Jews") is on the rise, and the plots to kill Christ are building.

Why? From their perspective, he has violated the sabbath, he has claimed the power to forgive sins, and he refers to himself as the Son of Man. In the eyes of most (not all) of the Jewish leaders at the time, this is nothing short of blasphemy, and the penalty for blasphemy under the Law is execution by stoning.

Because of this environment, Jesus chooses makes his pilgrimage to the temple secretly. Eventually teaches in the temple, and is recognized. Those who see him debate whether he is theChrist (ie, Messiah). In response to that debate, Jesus again tells the Jews that He has been sent by God Himself.

Which, of course, just makes them want to arrest Him more.

PS - One of our running jokes in our Friday bible studiy is ... how did Jesus make these escapes from the guys trying to arrest Him? Does he juke them like Barry Sanders, or disappear like the guys in "Field of Dreams," walking into the corn?

PPS - the mass reading skips from John 7:10 to John 7:25. Here are the missing verses. You can click the link at the top to see where this fits in the story.

11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast and saying, "Where is he?"

12 And there was considerable murmuring about him in the crowds. Some said, "He is a good man," (while) others said, "No; on the contrary, he misleads the crowd."

13 Still, no one spoke openly about him because they were afraid of the Jews.

14 When the feast was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple area and began to teach.

15 The Jews were amazed and said, "How does he know scripture without having studied?"

16 Jesus answered them and said, "My teaching is not my own but is from the one who sent me.

17 Whoever chooses to do his will shall know whether my teaching is from God or whether I speak on my own.

18 Whoever speaks on his own seeks his own glory, but whoever seeks the glory of the one who sent him is truthful, and there is no wrong in him.

19 Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?"

20 The crowd answered, "You are possessed! Who is trying to kill you?"

21 Jesus answered and said to them, "I performed one work 9 and all of you are amazed

22 because of it. Moses gave you circumcision--not that it came from Moses but rather from the patriarchs--and you circumcise a man on the sabbath.

23 If a man can receive circumcision on a sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I made a whole person well on a sabbath?

24 Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly."