When I was a youth group leader, I used to ask the youth how they knew that they existed before that very day. They all would look at me like I was crazy which is a pretty typical reaction to things I say. I always pushed it a bit so I could get them to think through things. I asked them how they knew, for sure, that they hadn’t been programmed and plugged into this life with a full bank of memories including a vast memory bank of past experiences with family and friends. Obviously, my intent was to get the youth thinking.
We continued on and I kept encouraging the youth to connect the dots to help me know for sure that they existed before that very day. They said that I knew their parents and some of their grandparents so I wouldn’t need any more information other than that. I encouraged them to think of some more proof.
I’m reminded that it really takes some time to help people step out of the box to think a new thought. Finally, one of the youth said, I just trust that my parents are my parents and that they had me and their parents had them and we’ll keep going forward in the same way.
Sometimes you just have to have faith and let the rest go.
12 Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”
In this verse, Jesus described himself as the ‘light for the world;’ a light that does more than just guide us in the darkness. The light Jesus is talking about actually makes the darkness disappear.
13 The Pharisees objected, “All we have is your word on this. We need more than this to go on.” 14 Jesus replied, “You’re right that you only have my word. But you can depend on it being true. I know where I’ve come from and where I go next. You don’t know where I’m from or where I’m headed.
The Pharisees accused Jesus as if they were in a court of law. They did not believe Jesus because he did not have any one else to prove that his words were true. The Pharisees couldn’t connect with the validity of what Jesus was saying.
15 You decide according to what you can see and touch. I don’t make judgments like that. 16 But even if I did, my judgment would be true because I wouldn’t make it out of the narrowness of my experience but in the largeness of the One who sent me, the Father.
The Pharisees had their own ideas about God and about their religion and they did not understand Jesus. They sure didn’t want to change the ideas they had about Jesus. It was easier to judge him than to try to believe that he came from God!
17 That fulfills the conditions set down in God’s Law: that you can count on the testimony of two witnesses. 18 And that is what you have: You have my word and you have the word of the Father who sent me.” 19 They said, “Where is this so-called Father of yours?” Jesus said, “You’re looking right at me and you don’t see me. How do you expect to see the Father? If you knew me, you would at the same time know the Father.”
In Jewish Law, two witnesses had to agree that something was true to prove that it was true. Jesus had two witnesses; himself and God, his Father. The Pharisees thought that Jesus was referring to a human father so they asked, ‘Where is this so-called Father?’ The Pharisees did not have a full and true knowledge of Jesus so they couldn’t wrap their heads around what Jesus was saying.
20 He gave this speech in the Treasury while teaching in the Temple. No one arrested him because his time wasn’t yet up.
The Treasury was a public place for people to meet together. It would have been easy to arrest Jesus, but God was controlling what happened in Jesus’ life and it wasn’t God’s time for them to arrest him.
Do you remember asking your parents any questions that they really didn’t answer? Did they say that they just didn’t know or that they just couldn’t answer you? What are some questions in life and about death that you just can’t answer? When have you had faith in something being true, but you really didn’t have any facts to back up your decision? Are you a person who needs lots of facts to believe something or do you tend to have lots of faith? Have a day!
In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they do when they don’t understand something
Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson
Remember in Prayer: Linda M., Linda B., Amy Beverland Elementary school & family and friends of Susan Jordan, Karsten & family, Dan, Sharon, Michael, Rick, Donna, Marc, Vivian, Tim, Jean, Frank, Luke, and for all those in need of God’s healing.
And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe
Prayer: O God, we come before you this day in such thanks to you for the gift of this day and the gift of life. We thank you for those times when we simply have faith in you and your ways and don’t have to have all things answered. Whatever you place before us this day, we know we can face with you. Amen
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© 2016 Lucia Oerter
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The Message Bible – contemporary translation
A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX