By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: March 10, 2016
March 10, 2016

Gospel JN 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”


Reflection:

Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf…”

Jesus knew that under Jewish law a man was not allowed to give evidence about himself.
His testimony had to be supported by others.
So, he reminded His adversaries: “You sent emissaries to John, (the Baptist) and he testified to the truth.”

We read in John 1:29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Jesus goes on to say that if they do not believe John then they should believe because of the miracles that He has performed: “The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.”

But, all of Jesus’ words are of no avail for the Jews had already made up their minds.

Jesus’ message of God’s unconditional love for all of His children threatened the authority the religious leaders had over the people.

They controlled others through threats of punishment for any violation of their man made religious laws.

Sadly, what the religious leaders could not understand was that Jesus loved them too.

He argues with them out of love and in an effort to set them and the world free from the fear of a punishing God.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.” 1 John 4:18



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