The way John told this story—and remember, the timing of things was important to John—it was at the very moment of the woman’s statement about the coming Messiah, and Jesus’ declaration of “YHWH/I AM the very one, speaking to you right now” that the disciples arrived.
Each contest included a cycle of three plagues. In this talk, originally delivered at New Hope Chapel, Arnold, MD, I pick up the series at the seventh plague, and show a pattern emerging of a progressive revelation of God.
What happens when God’s people lose touch with God’s values and God’s character?
They do not stop being God’s people.
They do experience a profound disconnection from God.
Instead of experiencing and living out the exuberant joy of shalom, they create and participate in systems that harm.
We usually think that we are at Point A and we intend to, or at least want to, get to Point B. Point B is our destination. Sometimes we get there, but more often, it feels like an obstacle course, and the map keeps changing. We end up way of course. Or, there’s a barrier that we just can’t seem to get through.
But what if there were a B Prime, a destination we never thought of, but that’s what God had in mind the whole time?
They were to allow God’s core values of justice and righteousness to become their core values, which would be reflected in their compassion and care for the economically, politically, and socially disadvantaged
Jesus wanted these disciples to really know him, because then they would be able to trust him, as he drew them ever deeper and farther into the mysteries he was going to reveal.
I picture these six men now looking at Jesus with wonder and perhaps a little fear. If what he said were true, then who was he really? How could they, ordinary men all, be standing here with one who connects heaven and earth?
Jesus’ question, “What are you looking for?” were the first words Jesus said in John’s gospel, maybe the first words He spoke as He began his public ministry, and they are words meant for every reader as well.
How can one person, how can I bring God’s grace, Jesus’ healing love and transforming power into such a broken and hurting nation?
True love is of God, Whose love is infinite. Love is sovereign, love defies reasoning, it is apart from reason. Love is not according to logic, love is according to love. Love goes all the way, and then love goes one step further.