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Monday, October 4, 2010

10/4/10- John 12:16-19 The World Has Gone After Christ

John 12:16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. 17 So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. 18 It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. 19 The Pharisees then said to one another, "You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!"

(Raising of Lazarus- Rembrandt)
Thoughts: Yesterday was World Communion Sunday.  It was a day in which we celebrated Christian unity in the world.  There are 30,000 McDonalds in 120 countries.  But there are 3.7 million Christian churches and there is a church in every country in the globe. 2.2 billion call themselves Christians- that is more than any other religion.  Churches all over the world had communion today in part as a show of unity.  In this passage, the Pharisees were frustrated that the children were saying "Hosanna"; that the crowd that had seen Jesus raise Lazarus was continuing to talk to people about this outstanding and public resurrection; that a crowd had gone to meet Christ when he came to Jerusalem.  People got angry that Christ, who they saw as a simple carpenter, maybe a magician of some kind, was having such a huge following.  It is amazing that a person who did not seek political power- he left when they tried to make him king (Jn. 6:15); someone who did not seek a religious office; someone who sought only to help people and teach about having faith and love in the heart was so derided, criticized, and crucified. Some today are amazed that people can be so anti-intellectual to listen to their faith instead of only to reason all the time.   But we do not live only by our bodies, or only by our reason.  The resurrection of Lazarus was not a reasonable, expected act.  Yes, the message of the Gospel appeals to people- it doesn't always make sense, but the evidence is in that the Good news of Christ touches a nerve.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that people of every race, tribe, gender, major language group, and country has those who claim you.  Help us to claim you as well. 

John Calvin abridged: ("They did not understand at first")- As the seed thrown in the earth does not immediately spring up, so the result of God's work is not immediately seen.  ("Written of him")- We are blind guides unless we have the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit speaking to us in them.  Let us learn to form our judgements about Christ not by our feelings but by the Scriptures.  The crowds had good reason to follow Him as Messiah because of the extraordinary power shown in the miracle of raising Lazarus. The opponents of Christ were throwing themselves into greater rage by looking at the crowds following Him.

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