Monday, March 07, 2016

John 6:22-71: How to respond when people don’t/won’t “get it.”
Jesus is placed in a situation where people can’t/won’t understand what He has done/is doing. How does He respond?

What does He do?
1.    He persists in trying to get them to understand.
2.    He goes back to the point that He is only doing/saying what the Father has charged him to do/say.
3.    He trusts that the Father’s plan is valid, even though it is not meeting with universal/complete acceptance.

What does he not do?
4.    He does not blow them off, dismiss them.
5.    He does not change, back away from, the message the Father charged Him with delivering.
6.    He does not berate or punish them.

7.    He is not discouraged by their failure to understand, accept, “get,” what he is saying.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

John 5: How to respond to difficulties resulting from following God’s directions
Jesus delivers God’s love in a powerful way & those who purport to represent God nitpick & criticize. He faces opposition, unfair criticism, unpleasantness, in response to His doing God’s will. In other words, His obedience causes Him to suffer.
So how does Jesus respond?

First, consider what He does not do:
1.    He does not recant, apologize for doing God’s work.
2.    He does not respond by pointing out the obvious goodness of what He has done (healing a long ill man).  He does not boast, justify His actions by human standards, or become self-righteous.
3.    He does not exercise the awesome power He had to hit back.
4.    He does not appeal to 3d parties/ the public generally for protection, support, vindication (this is a dialog between Jesus and the bad guys themselves).  v. 41. compare  v. 44.

Now consider what he does do:
5.    He recognizes that He is doing God’s will/work—He can’t accomplish anything apart from the Father.  v. 19 , see also v. 30
6.    He goes over other things that reinforce the fact that He is doing God’s will. He examines the situation in light of the broader context. 
7.    He looks forward to the time of his vindication, looks for the good things that lie on the otherside of the immediate difficulties.
8.    He continues doing the work God called Him to.

It is important to note that the matters described in points 4, 5, and 6 are not directed to the public at large. Instead, they are done in the midst of a private conversation Jesus is having with the particular folks causing the difficulties He is encountering. Jesus is not grandstanding here. See Matthew 18:15.