Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday of 4th Week

“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” There's a bitter overlay to that promise, here and now – yes, a mother can forget, and very easily indeed; and this verse is frequently pulled out as a reproof against that. It's hardly heard in any other context. But that is not its context. It is not a condemnation but the culmination of God's assurance that He will never abandon Israel. Even when they are most desolate and afflicted, He will comfort them. It's surely a verse that occurred to Jesus in his desolation, and it's one for us as well at times when God seems distant.

In the Gospel, He is anything but distant – He is also anything but easy to understand. Everything Christ has, He has from the Father; He can do nothing but what He sees the Father doing, and honor given to Him is honor given to the Father. He is given power of judgement over us, because he is not only the Son of God but also the Son of Man. It's a dense, rich passage, as are those that follow; most of what we are told of the Trinity comes from these discourses in John. Earlier was a time for action; now is a time to slow down, to consider what God is telling us of Himself.

The Jews understand one thing in all of this: Jesus is claiming equality with God, and they can only see that as blasphemy. Their persecution of Him increases to attempts to kill Him.

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