What Jesus said he was doing.

IMG_0521Sometime before Thursday night of Holy Week, Jesus summarized his work. And when John writes the story, he puts this summary between the time Jesus walks away from the crowd and walks into the upper room, the place where he’s going to eat supper with his disciples.

You can read it in John 12:37-50.

It’s a soliloquy, the “To be or not to be” kind of moment. Whatever we as readers think about what’s happened in this story up to now, John wants to make a clear statement. So that in the drama that follows, it’s not just about the injustice. It’s about something deeper.

John starts the section with prophecy. He quotes Isaiah, the authoritative prophet in Israel’s history. This Jesus, John says, is who Isaiah was talking about all the time. We’ve been reading it for generations. And when it happens in front of our eyes, when the scroll comes to life, we missed it.

And then Jesus talks. He cries out loud to no particular audience. John give us no help. He doesn’t say, “Jesus called his disciples together” or “Jesus went on a hillside to teach.”

I’ll let you think about this as you read John 12:37-50, but I wonder if Jesus is standing by himself, on a hill, with the wind blowing, telling the rocks and himself and God that he didn’t live as a freelance artist, as a creative preacher. He wasn’t improvising, he wasn’t adapting to the moment.

He was doing what his dad told him to do. No more. No less. No spin.

You would do the same. In that last moment between and before, when you want to be sure that going forward you have nothing to regret, you get things right with God. And in this case, God’s affirming to God that they are good.

Which will be important the next day.

 

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.