Spare the rod, spoil the child? Friday, 4th Week of Lent-John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Spare the rod, spoil the child? Friday, 4th Week of Lent-John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

So here is a twenty first century observation that has not changed since Jesus first uttered these words. “”You know me and also know where I am from. But the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.” In short Jesus is telling us that we know ABOUT HIM (hopefully) but OF HIM OR THE FATHER WE KNOW NOTHING.

Jesus never minced words and perhaps because we live in a ‘positively affirmed’ society we don’t like ‘negative stokes’. Should we spiritually spare the rod and spoil the child? Not so for the Lord! When the Jews needed to be confronted, He did not hold back. So, have we exalted the notion of the ‘sweet heart of Jesus’ and smothered the reality of Jesus in the temple, whip in hand; and for that matter done the same with today’s text?

Let me place today’s text in context. The first thing you will notice is that verses 3-9 and 11- 24 are not included. So let me fill you in. Jesus has left Jerusalem for Galilee as the Jews sought to kill Him. From the text, it seems clear, that they were seeking ‘any’ opportunity to kill Him. We are told that the eight day long Jewish festival of Tabernacles was near. It is here that our saga of ‘knowing’ and ‘unknowing’ begins.

It is clear that ‘His brothers’ know ‘about Him’ but don’t ‘know him’. The brothers of Jesus want Him to go to Jerusalem so that His ‘works may be seen’. Clearly they wanted to bask in His glory and popularity, something akin to the secular world’s demands. Scripture tells us that sadly even His brothers did not believe Him (verse 5).

When Jesus does join the festivities in Jerusalem, He does so privately, for He seeks not His glory. We are told He arrives somewhere in the middle of the festival and bang smack in a divided opinion of Him. Some were ‘complaining about Him’, some said He was ‘a good man’, some more called Him ‘a deceiver’; a word which translates as ‘satan’.

To discredit Him, (and this brings us to the main portion of today’s text) the Jews seek to ‘expose’ His lineage. They want to reveal what they ‘know about him’! “They know the physical location of His hometown and they know ‘about Him’ yet they don’t know Him or the Father” and He states this plainly.

Jesus won over people with His clear teaching and because He touched their hearts. Verse 30 tells us that they tried to arrest Him; yet no one laid hands on Him because “many in the crowd believed in Him” (verse 31). Seeing the growing belief and popularity in Jesus, the Pharisees along with the chief priests sent temple police to arrest Him; to suppress this belief in Jesus, lest the people not only know ‘about Him’ but truly ‘know Him’.

Crunch time for us! Let’s begin by asking the basic question. Do we ‘know about Him?’ This ‘knowing about’ would be if we are attentive to the gospels and scriptures in faithful reading of God’s word or perhaps from the homilies and services we attend. The bigger question lies in our ‘knowing Him’; a ‘knowing’ that goes beyond a book or homily. A knowing that is not a second hand testimony. But a knowing that comes from spending time at His feet in prayer.

Close your eyes, talk to Him, and get to ‘know Him’…!

-Written on behalf of the Holy Spirit

Fr Warner D’Souza may be contacted on whatsap on +91- 9820242151.

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