|I’m not sure if John is being dramatic or not.|
We’ve seen Jesus in similar situations like John 10. There are people who want to get their hands on Jesus. Somehow, he escapes. Is that a narrow escape? Does Jesus run from his accusers? How does a holy escape play out?
Whether Jesus offers a great getaway scene or not is not what’s important. But it’s fun for me to think about.
What is important is the accusation religious leaders make against the Lord. They say, “you…are making yourself God” (John 10:33). They had to discount any good work Jesus did because of what they misunderstood about him. In their minds, killing Jesus was the holy thing to do. As a side note, you and I are quick to criticize religious leaders who want to kill Jesus. The reality is this kind of religious zeal is a part of the Christian tradition, too. You can hear echoes of it today.
Let me affirm my stance. Killing someone you disagree with is wrong. Killing someone you think thinks is God is wrong.
Now, what we miss is what the religious leaders misunderstood. Jesus didn’t make himself God. God sent him. John made that clear to us in his first chapter. He said, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). That’s significant. It reminds us not of one man who thought too much of himself, but of God who thought much of us. Remember, God loved us and so “gave” us Jesus (John 3:16).
Our Lord made sure to connect his Sonship to the “many good works” he did. That is, because he was from the Father, he was able to offer miracles and signs.
That makes me think about our works. In a real sense, God gives the church to the world. Not in the exact manner of Jesus, of course. But when we hear Jesus tell us to take up our cross and follow him, we should sense a similar calling. Doesn’t that elevate our sense of ministry?
Much of ministry today points to the church. Much of ministry for some time has done that. We want to get “people to church” or “help the church” with some new project. Those may be noble efforts. But they can also be misguided. The church isn’t called to point people to itself. Our calling is to point people to Jesus. He is the one God sent to us all. The difference is transformational.
If we want to be faithful in our calling as a sent people, there’s no escaping our mission to point people to Jesus. They’ll follow you to church after that.