As I write this, I have just reviewed this whole chapter and the adjoining chapters for a sermon, and once again, I am astounded at how obtuse we humans can be when it is more important to us to oppose something and stay part of whatever group we are part of… rather than confront the truth and mercy of a loving God.
We can almost understand the Pharisees intent if they oppose Jesus when he eats unclean food, or perhaps if he claims things about Scripture that they don’t yet understand or know, or something obvious like that. But in this case, Jesus performs a miracle right in front of their noses, and still, they viciously oppose him, even seeking to destroy him.
We live today in a highly charged political and social environment within which we see this kind of thing against politicians or ministers or celebrities all the time, so maybe it’s nice to know that it’s always been this way. But when we see obvious signs of God’s work in the world, even from people we don’t think should understand it… how do we respond?
Lord, allow us to see with your eyes, allow us to celebrate the hope for the nations that flows from Jesus’ new reality, no matter what it does to our understanding of the way things are. Help us to respond in grace and truth, and never judgment and hatred.
Peter Hamm is a husband, father, and bi-vocational pastor and worship leader who is delighted and honored to serve Grace United Methodist Church in Norwood, Ohio.
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