John 8:51-59: Over the Edge
Jesus says: If you practice what I’m telling you, you’ll never have to look death in the face.
Then the people say . . . Now we know you’re crazy.
And Jesus replies . . . Believe me, I am who I am long before Abraham was anything.
Then how do we, the people, respond? That did it—pushed them over the edge. They picked up rocks to throw at Jesus. But he slipped away, getting out of the Temple.
Jesus cannot be more clear. All that troubles and hounds us here in the life we try to create for ourselves will fade into dust in the moment we pass from this world into the next.
Jesus cannot be more bold. The world that awaits us is more amazing and more transforming than any we might imagine.
Jesus cannot be more sane. He brings us miracles as acts of his love. He enters our hearts to melt cold crystals of anger and hate. He lives in our bones and minds, and still so many of us do not believe the beautiful truth he unfolds.
When faced with looming obstacles, we always have a clear path to freedom, a path that leads to eternal freedom and life that Jesus treads to show us The Way. And how do we, the people, respond when life presents its complications and hurdles? Do we follow Jesus, or do we choose to go over the edge?
We remember our Lenten practice as we turn away from the edge to return to the center . . . to the teaching of Jesus. Rather than thinking: “I will set all things right in God’s kingdom,” let us think instead, “I will strive each day to follow Jesus’ example of forgiveness, mercy and love”.
Tomorrow, slipping through their fingers.