Saturday, March 3
Actions over Words
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
The Jews wanted answers. Jesus had been speaking in what seemed riddles to them. They wanted it plainly -- was Jesus the Messiah or not? Jesus explained that he had been telling them -- not in words, but by his actions. If they could not believe his actions, then why should they believe his words?
Jesus' influence didn't come only through his words. It came through action. He didn't just sit in the temple talking about change -- he worked for change. And he didn't just perform miracle and acts we cannot reproduce -- he ate with sinners, touched the unclean, he ate on the sabbath, he stood up for those who could not stand for themselves, and did many other things that challenged religious and societal norms. We can do those things, too. We can let our actions speak louder than our words. We can change the world by the things we do. Oh, it'll upset people. But it'll be worth it.
Narrative Lectionary Text: 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.