Thursday, March 21

John 10:19-42

Again the Jews were divided because of these words. Many of them were saying, ‘He has a demon and is out of his mind. Why listen to him?’ Others were saying, ‘These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?’

At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered, ‘I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.’

The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.’ Jesus answered, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, you are gods”? If those to whom the word of God came were called “gods”—and the scripture cannot be annulled— can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, “I am God’s Son”? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.

He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, ‘John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.’ And many believed in him there.

Do you think it is strange that every time we turn around someone is trying to kill Jesus? He is challenged by everyone for all kinds of reasons. Someone is always getting ready to throw stones or to turn him in to the officials for some misdeed. In this passage they try to seize him but he was able to escape. Do you see where he went to find safety? He went back to the place of his baptism.

I wonder…could that be a good model for our lives? When we are under fire, when the cards seem stacked against us, and when everyone wants a pound of flesh…could we go back to the place of our baptism?

Maybe you cannot literally go back but could you go back in a spirit of prayer. Could you go back to a time when you were the focused recipient of the grace of God? Could you imagine what it was like to have someone speak words of the Beloved over your life? That would be a great gift!

When you get to that place of your baptism…be sure you reread verse 42 to see the result. “And in that place many believed in Jesus.” This may sound strange, but a part of the way I evaluate my life is by considering who comes to faith in Jesus. Have you brought anyone to the feet of Jesus as an act of faith and commitment? Now that would be an incredible gift!

Good stewards take good care of the gifts they have been given. Good stewards know when and where to share their lives because they are the caretakers of their faith, their resources, and their influence.

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