Wednesday, August 14, 2013
1 John 1:1 What was from the beginning (compare with John 1:1 and 1:14 below), what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life — 1 John 1:2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — 1 John 1:3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Statement of the Deity of Jesus) John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Statement of Jesus as fully human)
The context is that Jesus had just healed a sick man (on the Sabbath, which really bothered the pharisees for some reason - see John 5:16-18) and was being persecuted for it. This is part of what He told the pharisees... John 5:36 “But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John (the Baptist); for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish — the very works that I do — testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me." Even the Son of God thought it necessary to prove to people that He was who He said He was.
In keeping with the theme of evidence... Matthew 12:9 Departing from there, He (Jesus) went into their synagogue. v10 And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they (pharisees) questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” — so that they might accuse Him. v11 And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? v12 “How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” v13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. v14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. Note the response of the pharisees who just saw a miracle. Odd. Very odd. The pharisees were more interested in maintaining their political power (under Roman aegis, to be sure) and following their rules (as opposed to the Law) than they were in the Truth. No amount of evidence is good enough for someone who refuses to "get it."
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
With some context. For the next few days I'd like to cite Scripture that puts the lie to the notion that "faith" is a matter of believing without evidence, as one of the most high profile "new" atheists (Richard Dawkins) likes to say. New Testament faith (the Greek word is pistis) is actually trusting somebody to do something (like relying upon Jesus to save us) or it can also mean a body of truth that is believed on the basis of rational thought. Faith never, ever, means believing without evidence. Or like Mark Twain is alleged to have said: faith is believing something you know ain't so. Well, that ain't so. Luke 7:20 When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’” Luke 7:21 At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. Luke 7:22 And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. In other words, Jesus said, look at the evidence. Indeed. p.s. Feel free to disagree or question. Happy to engage.