See and Believe
Reflection on the Gospel of the Friday
The theme in this section of the gospel text is of the replacement of the OT feasts. Jesus presents himself as the true Light of the World, the spring of Living Water, the Good Shepherd. The jews cannot easily understand this and are divided in their opinion about him. At the festival of Dedication, the jews are pushing him to confirm if he was the Messiah and Jesus confirms that all his works are a testimony to the fact that ‘he and the Father are one’.
This declaration by Jesus equating him to God is blasphemous to the jews and they take up stones to stone him. Jesus uses a rabbinic style of argument and points out to the judges in the OT who were called gods as the Word of God came to them. The judges were weak and sinful men and yet were called gods, but though they could not find any fault with Jesus, they could not accept it when he said he was one with the Father, and accused him of blasphemy.
Jesus asks them to believe his works if they could not believe his words, as these works were possible only through the grace of the Father and that he was truly carrying out the command of his Father. The Father has consecrated Jesus – the same word the OT uses for consecration of the Temple and the altar – Jesus replaces the theme of this feast.
Jesus’ words only anger the jews further and they try to arrest him, but Jesus escapes to the other side of the Jordan, where John the Baptist was baptizing the people. The people there who listened to Jesus were convinced that Jesus was the person that John spoke about, someone for whom John was only preparing the way.
The Lord continues to work with us and within us. We thank the Lord for the many miracles in our lives, for making our lives more meaningful and beautiful. He is truly our living God.