Category Archives: New Testament

Proof!

John15:25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ [ESV]

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The reference to “is written in their Law” without a footnoted citation left me searching commentaries to unravel the obscurity of that phrase.  Here are some notes I made searching for clarity that became my food for thought.
• Jesus as command-giver vs mankind as command-keepers
• fulfilling the law through merit or mercy
• divine destiny
• finally this quote from an obscure commentary by Philip Schaff “The very law of which the Jews boasted, and into which, from imagined reverence for it, they were continually searching,—in that very law they might see themselves. In such a connection of thought might it not he [Jesus] be called ‘their law’?”

√ The first note I checked off without question was, of course, the divine destiny of Jesus.  That is a foundational tenet of our faith as Christians.
√ Then I went on to considering the difficulty of yielding to a command-giver when you’re a command-keeper living in a highly merit-based system.  That is a foundational dilemma of human nature.
√ Finally the quote from Schaff reminded me of this foundational truth from Jesus himself in Matthew 5:17
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.” [NLT]
Proof: ‘They hated [Jesus] without a cause.’

aPhilip Schaff (January 1, 1819 – October 20, 1893) a Swiss-born, German-educated Protestant theologian and a Church historian who spent most of his adult life teaching in America.  He also served as president of the committee that translated the American Standard Version of the Bible, though he died before it was published in 1901

One of a Kind Mirror

John 15:24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.

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The  relationship of mankind to Jesus is a mirrored reflection of it’s relationship to God.  Jesus life and works were, and still are, a one-of-a-kind mirror for all mankind to see that sin is a reality BUT that intimacy with God can also be a reality.   “Accepting and acting in accordance [abiding] with Jesus is the divine solution that allows Jesus’s intimacy with God to become the shared experience for mankind that can overcome sin.

Without that abiding all that’s left is the human solution for the wide chasm between mankind and God.   “…They have seen and hated both me and my Father.” 

 

He Speaks

John 15:22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. NLT

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Jesus had “come and spoken to them” to make them aware of their guilt.  John records this truth about Jesus’s living Word; it reveals the destructive reaction of human nature to the awareness of sin and guilt.  That same reaction has lasted across time and many generations.  Is there anybody reading this that can’t understand a defensive response when confronted with their sin?  Let me answer that for you…NO!  Jesus’s Word only requires changing the generic pronoun “they” to make it personal enough to impact our human nature today too.

Hearing Jesus speak about sin in the same sentence with your name awakens an awareness of guilt that leaves you with a choice: defend your sin or take Jesus at His Word.  Jesus has “come and spoken to [me].” He speaks to offer this replacement for excuses…opportunity.  Opportunity to let defensiveness be replaced with repentance that replaces guilt with forgiveness and Grace.