It’s Day 84!!
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
Yesterday we read JESUS AND THE TEMPLE
The day before we read JESUS AND THE LAW
HE FULFILLS BOTH OF THEM!!
Today is the big title
JESUS AND ISRAEL’S FAITH IN THE ONE GOD AND SAVIOR
The People of Israel have been formed OVER CENTURIES
They have come to know THE ONE TRUE GOD
They have come to be able to HEAR HIS VOICE
SPOKEN THROUGH THE PROPHETS
SPOKEN THROUGH SACRED SCRIPTURE
Jesus comes on the scene and He invites faith in Himself in the same way and to the same degree that the Lord God had invited faith and belief in Himself in the Old Covenant
There is this SCANDAL that happens
Paragraph 587 says, “If the Law and the Jerusalem Temple could be occasions of opposition to Jesus by Israel’s religious authorities, his role in the redemption of sins, the divine work par excellence, was the true stumbling-block for them.”
Jesus teaching on the Law, “You have heard it said…But I say to you…”
That’s a stumbling block
Jesus said, “Destroy this Temple and I will raise it up again in three days.”
That’s a stumbling block
But Jesus’ claim to be THE AGENT OF REDEMPTION
Jesus’ claim to be THE AGENT OF SALVATION OF THE WORLD
Jesus’ claim to BE ABLE TO FORGIVE SINS
Was the PRIMARY TRUE stumbling block for them
This is what Jesus claims
C.S. Lewis said, “People will come along and say, ‘I don’t believe in Jesus, but I believe he was a good man.’”
Or “I don’t believe in Jesus, but I believe he was a holy man or a prophet.”
C.S. Lewis said, “This is the one thing you can’t say about Jesus. Because He didn’t just claim to be a prophet. He didn’t just claim to be a holy person. He claimed to be God. And if He wasn’t God, he was either lying because He knew He wasn’t God and was trying to convince people. Or He was disconnected from reality. He was crazy because He wasn’t God and didn’t know He wasn’t God. The only third option is that He was God and He knew He was God. He actually truly is who He says He is.”
THAT IS WHAT WE ARE LEFT WITH!!
THIS BIG DECISION!!
We talked about this so many times when it comes to faith
Today we highlight the fact that there are many Jews who rejected Jesus
The Catechism even says, “No wonder! Because what He was asking of them was AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF FAITH. What He is asking of them is not just accept Him as one of the prophets…”
ACCEPT ME AS THE AUTHOR OF SALVATION!!
ACCEPT ME AS THE AUTHOR OF THE UNIVERSE!!
ACCEPT ME AS THE ONE THROUGH HIM AND FOR WHOM ALL THINGS WERE MADE!!
Paragraph 589 says, “Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners with God’s own attitude toward them.”
CLAIMING TO FORGIVE SINS!!
IF YOU’RE NOT FOR ME, YOU ARE AGAINST ME!!
THAT IS A REMARKABLE ASK!!
THAT IS A HUGE HUGE ASK ON THE PART OF JESUS!!
UNLESS HE ACTUALLY IS GOD!!
Our last three paragraphs today are our MCNUGGETS
Let’s say a prayer!!
THERE WE HAVE IT!!
Here is Jesus and His relationship to the People of Israel
Jesus is accepted by Christians
Not because He is a wise person
Not because He is a great prophet
BECAUSE HE IS GOD INCARNATE!!
BECAUSE HE IS GOD HIMSELF!!
His IDENTITY is in His DIVINITY
Because Jesus demonstrates and proves that He is who He says He is
We already mentioned C.S. Lewis’ TRILEMMA
Jesus is either a LIAR
He wasn’t God and He knew He wasn’t God
Jesus is a LUNATIC
He wasn’t God but He didn’t know He wasn’t God
HE IS THE LORD!!
When we read the Gospels and we have this picture of the person
He doesn’t SEEM like a liar
He doesn’t have the characteristics and tendencies of a liar
He also doesn’t seem like He is disconnected from reality
He doesn't seem like a lunatic
Which leaves us with the ONLY REAL CHOICE
JESUS IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS!!
JESUS IS THE LORD!!
Some people may say, “I don’t know if that’s accurate. Maybe Jesus doesn’t SEEM like a liar. Maybe Jesus doesn’t SEEM to be a lunatic.”
So what else is there?
In Mark Ch 2 we have the story of the 4 friends
They have a fifth friend who is paralyzed
They can’t go through the door so they go through the top of the roof
They make a little skylight and lower this man down in front of Jesus
Jesus looks at the faith of the friends and says to the man, “Your sins are forgiven.”
And people look around and ask, “Wait, who but God can forgive sins?”
In order to demonstrate that He has AUTHORITY ON EARTH TO FORGIVE SINS He says, “Rise, pick up your mat, and walk.”
This is what Jesus’ signs and wonders are pointing to
JESUS IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS!!
Who but God can forgive sins?
Jesus is demonstrating that He ACTUALLY IS the Lord Himself
Jesus ACTUALLY IS God Himself
Not only does He DECLARE that He can forgive sins
He then PROVES IT
He DEMONSTRATES IT by also healing
That is part of why Jesus had His signs and wonders
When we get to the Resurrection we will see it is another INCREDIBLE SIGN that JESUS IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS
Paragraph 591 says, “Such a demand for conversion in the face of so surprising a fulfillment of the promises…”
NO ONE expected that God Himself would become one of us
This is out of left field
This is the most BANANAS INCREDIBLE GRACE-FILLED AND GOD-ORDAINED AND JUST…
NO ONE ANTICIPATED THAT GOD WOULD FULFILL HIS PROMISES OF REDEMPTION HIMSELF!!
Paragraph 591 continues, “...allows one to understand the Sanhedrin’s tragic misunderstanding of Jesus.”
We can say, “I get it! Yes!”
We have seen 2,000 years of not only BROKENNESS in the Church
We have seen 2,000 years of MIRACLES
We have seen 2,000 years of LIVES CHANGED
We have seen 2,000 years of EVIDENCE THAT JESUS IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS
Imagine those people on the ground who said, “I never anticipated that God would fulfill His promises by becoming one of us.”
IT MAKES SENSE!!
WE CAN GET IT!!
WE CAN BE PATIENT!!
We can also say, “God please, help me to not misunderstand you.”
Paragraph 591 continues, “The members of the Sanhedrin were thus acting at the same time out of ‘ignorance’ and the ‘hardness’ of their ‘unbelief.’”
God can give us the grace TO KNOW
God can give us the grace TO HAVE FAITH
Yes, we might be IGNORANT
We can have a HARDNESS OF HEART
We can have a HARDNESS OF OUR OWN UNBELIEF
Of how God can be revealing Himself to us
“Ok God, I recognize that in so many areas I can be ignorant. Also in so many areas I can have a hardness of heart, a hardness of mind, a hardness of unbelief. And so I ask you by your Grace, come and meet me in my ignorance. Come and meet me in my hardness of heart. Soften my heart. Open my mind so that I can know you and soften my heart so that I can truly accept you, receive you, and love you.”
Does that make sense?
It’s one of the reasons we pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters
Pope Paul VI said, “Spiritually, we are all Semites.”
We have been grafted onto the tree of Israel as St Paul writes
We are not GENETICALLY Jewish
Because of Jesus we are grafted onto that tree
In some unique and mysterious way we are CONNECTED to our older brothers and sisters in Judaism
WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THEM!!
WE PRAY FOR THEIR CONVERSION!!
JUST LIKE WE PRAY FOR THE CONVERSION OF EVERY PERSON ON THIS PLANET!!
BUT ESPECIALLY FOR GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE!!
We pray that all of our Jewish friends come to know Jesus Christ as He has revealed Himself
WHICH IS A BIG ASK!!
We pray that WE ALL come to know Jesus
WHICH IS A BIG ASK!!
His demands on our lives are TOTAL
C.S. Lewis said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance. And if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
WHICH IS TRUE!!
JESUS EITHER IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS
HE IS NOT
Fr. Mike is praying that God opens our minds, softens our hardness of heart, and comes to meet all of us with His Grace
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!