04.06.2014. Father Drew's Weekly Message.

In the Gospel of John people misunderstand Jesus. They understand his words in the normal human way but Jesus wants to raise people’s thinking and understanding to a new higher way of looking at life. His words surprise people, because he is asking them to see him in a new way, divine rather than human.

Jesus said, “Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19) Those who were listening misunderstood and thought he was talking of the temple in Jerusalem. They said it took forty-six years to build the temple but Jesus was talking of his own body. When Jesus rose from the dead his disciples remembered and believed. (John 2:19-22)

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” (John 3:3) Nicodemus misunderstood and asked, “How can anyone who is already old be born? Is it possible to go back into the womb again and be born?” (John 3:4) Jesus has to further clarify, “no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit; what is born of human nature is human; what is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:5-6)

Jesus said, “I am living water.” (John 4:10) " He not only said it, He proved it by giving to that woman of Samaria and many people from her village spiritual water that made them so they never thirst again.
Then Jesus came along and said, "I am the light of the world." (John 8:12)

He not only said it but He proved it by giving spiritual and physical sight, physical sight to a blind beggar and then following it up with spiritual sight.

Then Jesus came along and said, "I am the Good Shepherd," (John 10:11) and He proves it by the constant physical and spiritual care of His own sheep.

We see that many times in the Gospel of John people understand Jesus’ words in a human way but Jesus wants to raise people’s thinking and understanding to a new higher way of looking at life. His words surprise people, because he is asking them to see him in a new way, divine rather than human. And so we come to today’s Gospel where Jesus said to Martha, “Your brother will rise.” (John 11:23) Martha professed her faith in the resurrection at the last day, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” (John 11:24) But Jesus wants to take her to a new understanding of resurrection,

“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Jesus wants Martha to know that it is through Jesus himself that Lazarus will rise again, “I am the resurrection and the life…” Jesus is the resurrection. Jesus also wants Martha and us to know that for anyone who believes in Jesus death has only the appearance of death because we live after death, “whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” In fact, if we believe in Jesus we will not die, in the sense that the life we live in Christ now will continue after death, “everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” When we live as Jesus calls us there is a continuation from this life to the next.

Christ’s peace,
Fr. Drew