Try and imagine it; nothing we experience in this world is like it. Instead we find ourselves in the thick of a contest between good and evil. Deceit and shame dogs our every step, bit not just from without. We are often the enemy of our best selves. What a place this city is, that God has prepared for his people. And who are they? Those who have trusted all to Jesus, whose names are in his book.
Those who pondered this question were Israel's recognized intellectuals. Jesus had not be their pupil, and that is why they supposed he had 'never studied.' Established knowledge centers have much to teach, but there is a higher wisdom than they can impart. To learn to love God is to drink at the fount of knowledge.
If it were my neighbor, a judge, a politician or even my Pastor who spoke so, he would not be taken seriously. While I respect all of them, not one among them has the magisterial and weighty persona invest such an announcement with any purchase. The voice that speaks, rather, comes from One who is unique and mighty. He calls himself the Beginning and the End. Only God could speak thus, truly. There are echoes of Jesus' conversation with a woman, in John 4. He offered her
It takes courage to believe in Jesus. 'Jews' in John's Gospel, are not Jews racially, but the Temple authorities as well as many Pharisees and Sadducees. To hold an opinion about Jesus that differed from that of the religious experts was hard for ordinary folk. They were accused of being 'sinners.' As it happened, the experts were wrong. Better to make a mistake by thinking for yourself, than to follow learned spiritual prejudice.
Who can fail to be attracted by such words? Pain, trauma and grief punctuate our lives from beginning to end. When tears wet our faces we long consolation that is absolute; permanent. Pleasure, joy and delight are also known to us, and these whet our appetite for a better world. Who is this comforter who thinks to rid us of all that spoils? None other than God who made us; and who gave us his Son.
Jesus is unmistakably human, in John's gospel. Here he is involved in a verbal exchange with his brothers which is remarkable for its ordinariness. It might occur among siblings in any family. Jesus is thoroughly human, but uniquely human. He is one with mankind--except that he is not! He walks to the beat of a different drum. He is bound to the purposes of God in a way that others are not. His food and drink is the will of God. His brothers are not so bound and are carefre
God alone is holy, and his dwelling place therefore is the Holy City. The Bible is consistent in portraying a God who does not sit on high waiting for humans to make the their way up to him; he comes to them. The world is the object of God's intense interest and purpose. An astonishing figure of speech is employed to show just how passionate God is in his intention to come to us. He is like a woman, a bride, who dresses herself in order to please her husband.
What difference is it if amazing things happen in Judea rather than Galilee? Most of Jesus' ministry took place in Galilee, even though Judea and Jerusalem was the political and religious center of the nation. Unbelief always waits to see which way the world's ruler's will jump. But it's in Galilee, not Jerusalem, that faith begins.
Friendship, good will, and fellow-feeling are never so much enjoyed as when persons sit down and share a meal together. Here depicted is a God who desires to be with us; who anticipates the good times that go with interpersonal relations. The language of this verse is the language of a lover who gently and persistently anticipates intimacy with the beloved.
God in the living God because life in him is un-obtained, un-received, un-derived. Life is not inherent in nature; it is borrowed from the self-existing originator. Humans are unique in creation because they alone can choose to know and love the life-giver. This privilege is available to us through the One whom God sends. To trustfully depend on Jesus and follow him is to 'feed' on him---and to taste the life of heaven.