Creed: Who is God to You?
- Friday, August 27, 2004
“I am the good shepherd.” (10: 11)
“I am the resurrection and the life.” (11:25)
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (14:6)
“I am the true vine.” (15:1)
In the middle of these declarations about Himself, Jesus and the disciples head up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus’ brothers (see Mark 6:3 for one of the several references to Jesus’ earthly family) taunted Him before departure. “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” (John 7: 3, 4)
The disbelieving brothers left for the Feast and Jesus followed, but He moved privately, not publicly, as he’d been doing.
The Jews in Jerusalem anticipated the arrival of the Great Rabbi. Reading the text in John’s seventh chapter, one gets a sense of them waiting outside the gate, peering over the wall, peeking out the windows, and keeping a watch on the streets. Jesus, however, waited until halfway through the Feast before He made an appearance at the temple. Once there, He boggled the minds of those who heard Him. So impressed were the Roman guards, when they went back to the chief priests, they came without the “prisoner!”
“Why didn’t you bring him in?” “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards declared. “You mean he’s deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. (45,46)
The following day Jesus appeared, once again, at the temple. Who should appear but the Pharisees and “teachers of the law” and whom should they have with them but a woman caught in the act…the very act…of adultery.
What must this picture have looked like? People were crowding around the Rabbi. The noise is great and people are shushing one another, hoping the Man of Galilee will give them another point to ponder, another sermon to challenge their thinking, and another pebble of a clue as to who He is.
The woman is thrown at the feet of her Creator. Is she naked? Hair down, face buried in the palms of her hands, is she bruised and bloodied from being dragged through the streets? And where is the man with whom she was caught? Weeping and embarrassed, is she then covered by the outer coat of the One who knows her best…and loves her most?
What a moment this must have been!
Now, take note of this line:
They made her stand before the group…(8: 3c)
Clothed or naked, her sin is completely exposed. She is humiliated and degraded, not only because of the crowd around her, but because she is standing naked before God.
(Think about that for a moment before we go further. When was the last time you stood naked before God? Here I am, Lord. All of me. All of my faults, my weaknesses, my sins, my fears, my transgressions against others…. Here I am.
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