Saturday, September 19, 2009

What do you think?

Life has been extremely hectic lately with the yearly start up of the Jr High ministry at church (I've taken over as lead teacher on Sunday and Thursday), and Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), not to mention work and other church responsibilities. So there's been little time for blogging. However, I did think of one thing I wanted to share with you all and a question I wanted to ask.

So, here's the sharing. My BSF leader told the story of a middle aged female believer in conversation with a middle aged male nonbeliever - no, I promise she was not talking about Maalie and me - but it could happen:) The woman told of how Scripture impacted her life while the man responded that he'd read through the Bible many times and gotten nothing out of it. To that, the woman replied, "oh no, you have it all wrong. It doesn't work if you just go through the Bible; the Bible must first go through you".

And here's the question. For our first week of BSF we are doing an overview of the entire book of John so need to read the whole thing. I came to the final section and realized that I was holding my breath and cringing as I read through the crucifixion, knowing that I would have been just as likely as any of them to shout, "crucify him" before I did meet the Savior personally. Then I got to the part where the chief priests answer Pilate saying, "we have no king but Caesar" and I began to wonder what the parallel is to our lives today. If we know that we can substitute ourselves for the crowds shouting, "crucify", who might we substitute for Caesar? (feel free to correct my grammar Craver - I'm a bit at doubt about who and whom in that sentence)


donsands said...

The Jews said Caesar was their king, but they only said this with their lips; not, however, with sincerity.

So what was their real reason?

I think it was deep hatred for Jesus. They began to seek to kill Him way back when He healed the fellow with the crippled hand.

"Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him." Mk. 3:6

They were self-righteous legalistic religious men, who knew they were to be the ones who rule. To question their authority is to question God.

I suppose if I lived during the time of Jesus i would have chimed in with the religious leaders just to be one of the crowd. As long as I could be mostly concerned about me, my, and mine first and foremost.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Unmet expectations.

They all stumbled over Jesus as he did not meet what they thought Messiah was to be. John the Baptizer, the disciples, as well as the crowds (who wanted him to be their Bread King), and of course the religious leaders had their own agenda, and the zealots wanted Rome overthrown.

For me like all of us, we know by the Scriptures, but through Jesus' death and resurrection it all becomes more about following Jesus and everything else becomes more and more secondary or important or seen in relationship to that.

Halfmom said...

Thanks gentlement! I think, though, that I was thinking more in terms of "who might we substitute for Caesar?" in modern day terms.

donsands said...

The Jews said Caesar was there king, when they really didn't mean it. That was their religious/political/power way of doing what they wanted to do.

The Church today, or the so-called people of God today, look to the government I suppose. It might be Bush, or Obama. There are many who put their hope in Supreme Court as well.

And that's America. World wide, who would this be? Don't see anyone really.

Just thinking out loud.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Susan, I admit that your question is confusing to me. Chrisitans would not be among the throng (even as Jesus' disciples were not) shouting, "Crucify him!"

I think we just don't see Jesus and the kingdom of God come in him as being relevant to life except in terms of personal salvation. In an indirect way we do, believing it does change us to be productive people in society, but I believe we really just opt for the world's ways, rather than the Jesus way, in how we approach much of life. So that we maybe do set ourselves up to put confidence in earthly rulers who, like the psalms say, cannot save us, or in worldly ideologies.

Halfmom said...

Good point, Ted. I hadn't thought about it that way - not being part of the crowd crying crucify him. I believe that I think more in terms of every choice to sin really says that same phrase over and over again. So, I was wondering what the "we have no king but" might parallel.

Interesting idea, Don. We here in America do tend to turn to a "king" when we want something done that we don't want to do ourselves - good, bad or indifferent - don't we :(

Ted M. Gossard said...

Hebrews 6 talks about professing believers crucifying the Son of God all over again, I take it there, when they commit the sin of apostasy, i.e., leaving the faith. John speaks of a sin that leads to death, as opposed to sin that does not. I take it that this may be a reference to apostasy and blaspheming the Holy Spirit. But in practical terms I see it as simply professing Christians abandoning the faith. When Peter denied Christ his sin was not the sin unto death; Jesus had prayed for him, and God gave him life- of course he repented of it.

For us as Chrisitians now I see sin as more "in house", as a member of God's family. It hurts others and God to be sure as any sin in a family, and the Father lovingly disciplines his children. And as Hebrews also tells us, we're to resist sinning, even unto bloodshed (i.e., human persecution) if need be. So sinning is more like being a rebellious child and brother for us in Jesus, rather than rejecting our Elder Brother, Jesus, and our Father. But carelessness and recklessness in sinning is never good, of course, and a growing sensitivity and hatred of sin and repentance with a broken and contrite spirit/heart are each important for us, along the way.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I should add rebellious but also weak. Sin shows up for many in our weaknesses, be they anger, lust, whatever. insidiousin effecting rebellion, or a form of rebellion, even if we don't look at it as so.

Craver Vii said...

That's an interesting perspective, Halfmom. I have always imagined it in the past, and whether I would have shouted along with them. I doubt that I would have shouted with the crowd after having been born again, though I probably would have been in hiding like his other disciples.

Still, I'll try to answer your question: I think the Caesar part was only a convenient excuse. I'm not sure what we would substitute today. I think it would be an unfair match to try to compare their totalitarian demigod to our man who is elected by the people for a short term, and to a system where his power is limited by checks and balances.

Andrew said...

I don't know who our/my "caesar" would be, but I can help you clarify the who/whom debate. It's "Whom might we substitute for Caesar?" You can always check this by trying to substitute either "he" or "him" for the suspect "who/whom." In this case, you could rearrange the sentence as "We might substitute him for Caesar." Because you used "him," you would also use "whom," both of which are objects. If, when you rearrange the sentence, "he" works better, then you'd use "who" (both are only subjects). It's kind of nice that they rhyme, too!

Halfmom said...

only you my dear one!