Friday, March 13, 2015

Whose Are We?

They answered Jesus, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, 'You will be made free'?"
Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father's presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father."
They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does." They said to him, "We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot accept my word. You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.
"Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God."  John 8:33-47 
When Indigenous people introduce themselves, they always speak of their tribe, their clan and their people. Many cultures do the same thing as it is important for others to know not only who you are but whose you are. We belong to many groups - our tribe, family, siblings, out church - and identity is key to understanding ourselves and others. We want to think of ourselves as unique individuals but whose we are is as important as who we are. 
Jesus is again debating with the religious leadership. They have been testing them in many ways. He pushes back when they say they are Abraham's children. They would be behaving and living differently if they were truly his. And we are reminded that as we claim belonging to God, we are also called to live lovingly and not with judgment and condemnation in our hearts.
Today I ask God to help me live as a child of God. May our words and actions bring honor to Christ as we live without judgment and condemnation. May all we do live out the love and blessings we have been given today.

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