Page 64 - Lent2013j

Basic HTML Version

Lenten Weekday
Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41C-62
Psalm 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6
John 8:12-20
In today’s Gospel, the Pharisees challenge Jesus’ teachings in a legalistic manner. They
say he cannot prove that he is the light of the world, because he testifies on his own
behalf. No one else of authority can support him. But Jesus says that God the Father
also testifies for him, and therefore he is not alone.
The Pharisees seemed to make a living out of judging people and things. In the Gos-
pels we hear the Pharisees opine often about what is acceptable and what is not – be it
types of food, certain individuals, or even when to perform miracles such as healings.
As we read about Jesus’ interactions with them, we start to see these highly educated
Jewish lay leaders as Jesus saw them – as hypocrites. They judged others in order to
elevate themselves.
In this passage, Jesus tells the Pharisees that he is “the light of the world.” But the
Pharisees invalidate Jesus’ testimony because he can produce no other person, accept-
able to them, to testify on his behalf. Now Jesus refuses to play their game.
He could have easily produced any of the apostles, or grateful people he had
healed, or any of the massive crowds that followed him through the country-
side to listen to him preach. Any of these would have been happy to testify
for Jesus. But instead, Jesus simply states that his testimony can be verified,
because he knows where he came from and where he is going.
This wonderful affirmation of self-worth resonates for us today as clearly as it
did back in the streets of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Jesus knew who he was.
He came from humble origins – the son of a carpenter, born in a manger, a
nobody. But he also knew he was God’s son. And with that came his Fa-
ther’s love, the knowledge that he was created in his Father’s image, for a
purpose, and that no matter what he did or how anyone judged him, that
love would not waver.
Jesus also knew where he was going. He had a destiny to fulfill. He would
become the savior of the world.
God has created each of us in his likeness, infused with his love, blessed with
his favor. But so much of the time, we feel minimized by the judgment