A Time Out Is Good For Us

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Today we begin looking at the Gospel of John, but before we get there, here’s a very quick summary of what happened in between the Book of Deuteronomy and this Gospel. God continually reaches out to His people so that they may know Him and desire to follow His Righteous Way, and humans continue to think they know better and stray away from God instead. There are some amazing stories about kings and prophets and miracles along the way because, even when we humans are faithless, God is always faithful. But the history of the Israelites is basically the story of every single human that has ever, and will ever, live on this planet. We are lost and broken and sinful apart from God. Without Him, we really can do nothing. (see Jn 15:5) 

God is highly patient with His people, but after a while, He had to send these wayward children into exile so that they could get their attitude straight. Think of it as a “time out.” We all need one of those every now and again. And it is exactly because God loves them, and us, way too much to just let us go our own way, that He must show us what life is like when we do not sense His Presence in and around us. Sadly, as is the fallen human nature, they still struggle greatly even after coming back from exile to the land God had promised them. 

It is after a 400 year silence, when God did not raise any prophets to talk to the Jews, that we come to the Gospels. I would recommend John’s account only because it is more spiritual than the others. Matthew, Mark and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels, because they give a synopsis of the Life of Jesus using many of the same events, in similar ways. The Gospel of John focuses on the fact that Jesus is God, which Jesus affirms with the famous seven “I Am” declarations throughout this Gospel. Yet John does not downplay the fact that Jesus is also Human. Fully God AND fully Human. This is our Jesus, and again, remember the Bible is not going to explain everything to us mere mortals, because we do not have the capacity to fully understand. This is what Faith is for, to trust God even when we do not understand. The Bible is not a science book. It is a revelation of our God and Creator, His Love towards all He created, and how He will never give up on us, and so He sent Jesus.

The purpose of all the Gospels, then, is to point our hearts to The only Savior of the world, to help us believe in Him and His sacrifice and to lead us into Salvation. (see Jn 20:31) If you want a nice overview of the Life of Jesus, you can check out my Weekly Encouragement articles from last year when I journeyed through the Gospel of Matthew. We will spend the rest of this week studying the “I Am” statements so that we can learn to know our Lord and our God more deeply.

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<>< Peace, Diane