The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’ —and the scripture cannot be annulled— can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, “John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In my imagination, Jesus sits on the banks of the Jordan. As dusk settles in, he ponders all he has stored in his heart. Here he encountered John, lean and dusty, filled with fire and proclamations. Jesus smiles as he thinks of his own baptism, so much set in motion, so much he could not predict. He remembers walks and talks, healings and riddles. He shakes his head as he thinks of his followers, with their flashes of brilliance and their desire to conquer.
His heart swells with love for all of them, even the schemers and the lost ones. He prays they find a way through the worst, to the best, yet to come. He prays they will share his words and stick together. Quietly, he begs, “Be with me, Abba.”
Can I find the courage to follow Jesus to Jerusalem?
—Maureen M. Martin is a writer, spiritual director and hospice chaplain, living in Evanston, IL.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!