Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, 'He is our God.' You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word"…So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.—John 8:51-59
Jesus is taking a very unpopular stand here—which I realize is a massive understatement! His is a stand that inspires rejection, ridicule and violence as much as it transforms and heals others. Asked, Who do you think you are?, he unflinchingly owns his unity with God, inflaming his foes. He calls his persecutors liars to their faces. This is why Jesus is called a radical for his time. I see him as a man radically empowered by love; so rooted, so certain of God’s favor, of God’s love, he moves in the world free to alter the course of human history.
To risk speaking and living one’s truth when the prize is the promise of a righteous adventure with Christ is easy enough to imagine. It may not be so attractive an option when the outcome opens us up to rejection much less a stoning. Jesus example here is not subtle. It is very clear. Sometimes it is hurts to be true. There is no promise of painlessness in carrying our cross. Jesus example invites us to be so grounded in God’s love that we are sustained in times of humiliation.
Lord, help me to reject the certainty of silence and her deceptive comforts. Grant me the courage to embrace wading in agitated waters so to loosen complacency from my grip. Help me to receive your love that I may embody your justice in the world. Help my fragile ego rest in the certainty of your love when those around me make theirs contingent. How I long to walk ever closer to you.
Lord, Where do you need me to take a stand that is unpopular to fulfill your will in my life?
reflected by Alma Morales Risse