No room for truth. John #40 ~ John 8.37-41
Key verse: …you have no room for my word. John 8.37
Sometimes when Jesus’ words are few, his message is the loudest. Six words in the middle of Jesus’ discussion with the self-righteous Pharisees really got my attention--you have no room for my word. Jesus was standing there, the fulfillment of 60 unique prophecies - the Messiah they had been awaiting, and yet . . .many had no room to accept him or his teaching, in spite of what they already knew about him. Miracle worker, brilliant teacher, benevolent leader, proof of the prophetic.
There was their heritage … after all, they were the descendants of Abraham, the chosen ones of God. “Abraham is our father,” they declared. How dare Jesus make any mention that they were slaves to sin, that He was only doing what His Father gave him to do, and they were somehow less than! Jesus’ teaching points out that while they may be in the bloodline of the patriarch Abraham, they were nothing like the man of faith Abraham, because Abraham would not do what they were planning to do, which was to kill him. So for the Jews that day it was pride of birth to which they clung that made them unable to hear Jesus. They considered themselves safe because of their pedigree, secure in God’s favor because they called Abraham their father, yet they were hard-hearted and close-minded, and had no room for Jesus’ word.
How about us? Do we have room for Jesus’ word? Do we let his truths impact us anew and afresh? Do we have room for his word to challenge and change us? We only have room if we have devoted ourselves to Jesus Christ . . . if we have surrendered our wills to his, and if we desire, above all else, to become like him. Otherwise, even reading the Bible is an exercise - it is not ‘life’ to us.
I love studying the expressions of the brilliant people in our rich faith history: “What God asks of us is a will which is no longer divided between him and any creature. It is a will pliant in his hands and which neither seeks nor rejects anything, which wants without reserve whatever he wants, and which never wants under any pretext anything which he does not want.” (Francois Fenelon, 1651-1715)
A prayer: Soften our hearts to hear your words, O Lord, and be changed by your Word! So that ‘whether we turn to the right or to the left, we will hear a voice behind us saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’ as Isaiah taught. I want to rid myself of me so that there is room for more of you, Jesus. Amen.