Lenten Devotional: April 6

Psalm 131; Psalm 132; Psalm 133;
Psalm 140
; Psalm 142; Jeremiah 26:1-16;
Romans 11:1-12
; John 10:19-42

The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me. John 10:25

In this section of the Gospel of John, the Jewish leaders are threatening to stone Jesus for having committed what they describe as blasphemy. Because he is not “following the rules” that have become the defining framework of Judaism at that time, they are wishing not only to discredit him, but to remove him from their midst entirely. Jesus makes them more than a little uncomfortable.

It is interesting to me that Jesus does not spend a great deal of time justifying his actions to his accusers. Rather, he chides them for their unwillingness to see what is before their very eyes. He does not try to convince them that they should not be angry with him, but states clearly that his works are given to him by his Father and that the actions, in and of themselves testify to the fact that he is the Son of God. I cannot help but think that this surety about his mission comes out of the time he spends in prayer, conversing with the Father.

As I reflect on this passage, I think about all the works that Jesus did that we are told about in the Gospels. He healed people, he fed people, he mingled with the people on the margins, he welcomed sinners, he preached a message of love and he lived into that message. He also spoke truth to power, created discomfort among the powerful and confronted the mighty. He did not allow injustice and other ills in his world to go without comment in order to keep himself safe. And he called others to follow him.

We are all sons and daughters of God. Do my acts serve as testimony to that? Do I spend time in prayer in order to discern how best to follow Jesus? Do I value my comfort and safety more highly than my desire to live in love? I hope that my actions will serve as testimony.