As we journey together through Lent, Christians throughout Columbia will be sharing their own beautifully written personal meditations. Each will be accompanied by a corresponding scripture reading, and be linked to that passage in the Holy Bible. If you would like to join us on Columbia’s Lenten journey, please submit your personal meditation by email. Especially meaningful submissions will be printed. Let us continue our Lenten journey, day by day, to its glorious culmination on Easter Sunday.
Scripture reading: John 8:47-59
Today’s lesson recites a contentious debate between Jesus and the Jewish leaders. Jesus tells the leaders of God’s Chosen People that they are not from God and indeed do not know God. As Jesus continues to explain who He is, the Jewish leaders accuse Jesus of being insane. And Jesus boldly states that, “before Abraham was, I am,” using God’s name for Himself as revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14. You can understand why they picked up stones to throw at Jesus.
Considering that Jesus had just told God’s Chosen People that they did not know God, that He was more important than their ancestral father, Abraham, and that He was equal to and a part of God, the Jewish leaders were seemingly justified in thinking Jesus was crazy and a blasphemer. As C. S. Lewis explains in Mere Christianity,“ a man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic…or else he would be the Devil of Hell.”
Only one thing prevents the Jewish leaders’ response to Jesus’ claims from being justified: what Jesus said about Himself is indeed true. These extremes are the only two alternatives to choose from when deciding whether to believe Jesus’ claims about who He is, and every person must decide for himself or herself. If we hear and keep these words of God, then we will conclude, like C. S. Lewis, “that Jesus was and is God,” so that we may boldly proclaim the Gospel.
Columbia, South Carolina
You might also like to read:
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
A discussion of today’s Lenten meditation is encouraged. If you would like to participate, please feel free to write a comment in the space below. There are many different outlooks and interpretations of scripture passages and, the more we share, the more we learn.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure Lane in Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located at 1100 Sumter Street in Columbia.
If you enjoyed this article, you can find more at Sharon's Columbia Biblical Studies Examiner homepage.