Jesus said, "I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John's. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.
"You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?" John 5:30-47
We are intricately connected, whether we want to realize it or not. Our DNA can free us or give us away, even when we deny a relationship or a deed. I watch my children, and our grandchild, and see more and more the imprint of previous generations, the gestures, personalities and looks that are carried on from ancient times and manifest in them. Our self understanding is defined in relationship, and we are inheritors of many blessings and many challenges.
Jesus challenges the religious authority because they shrink from being in relationship with him. They think by judging him by the standards they have set, they can reject him and set his teaching, witness and healing aside. And yet, it is exactly in relationship, in that intimate interdependence, where we know the touch of God, the presence of the eternal. We are challenged today to be in relationship with Jesus, to accept the intimate connection we have, and seek the transformation that comes through the power of love.
Today I ask God to help me set aside my own standards and rules that might keep me from being in relationship. May this season of Lent be a time when our hearts are turned and reopened so that we might see God's activity in our lives and share the love we have received.