Daily Devotional for August 20
August 20 John 5:30-47
Today's discourse by Jesus is his response to being questioned
about his healing of a crippled man on the Sabbath. Asserting
his own integrity, Jesus employs the legalistic tactics of his
day to demonstrate both his own Messiahship and the hard-
heartedness of his listeners.
In juridical fashion, Jesus cites four sources that bear witness
on his behalf: John the Baptist, our Mother-Father God, the
works Jesus performs, and Scripture. Jesus remonstrates his
hearers for refusing to accept the honesty of his claim to
Messiahship, which is testified to by these sources, while
willingly giving credence to self-proclaimed Messiahs.
Important for us is the reason Jesus gives for his listeners,
behavior. Jesus states that the religious Jews of his day lack
the willingness to enter into the glory of God because of their
eagerness to have their egos affirmed and their accomplish-
ments noticed and because of their drive to get ahead.
We live in a highly competitive and commercial society where
the reward of upward mobility is also offered on the basis of
our accomplishments and our acquisition of worldly goods,
rather than upon the affirmation of our integrity, honesty, and
genuine character. Striving for this reward almost always
means the dishonesty of actually denying or repressing our
deepest and most loving compassionate self, the self that funda-
mentally cares for the well-being of others rather than seeking
to use others for its own advancement. Failing to live with
integrity and honesty means that we fail to live in faithfulness
to God, the one who made us who and what we are and
affirmed that we are radically good.
Faithfulness to God calls us to live with integrity and honesty
so that we may mirror the integrity and honesty of Jesus and
see life around us in all its richness.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989