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Daily Devotional for February 23


February 23                                                      John 5:19-29

               "Truly, truly, I say to you, anyone who
     hears my word and believes the one who sent me,
                                  has eternal life "

In this passage from John, Jesus claims a unique relationship
to God. Jesus claims that it is God who is acting in and through
him. Clearly a new authority is claimed by Christ. It is this
authority that becomes the stumbling block to faith for many.

The very notion of authority is troublesome for many of us.
Rather than giving authority to another, we tend to seek
authority for ourselves. If we have experienced authority that
is repressive, we may also seek to strip others of authority.
This attempt is rooted in a positive effort to find some sense
of power in life, but it can take on a negative aspect when
we seek to diminish others in order to enhance our own posi-
tion in life.

Christ addresses our ambivalence with issues of authority by
saying, "Truly, truly... ." These words are in themselves
the heart of Christ's authority. Christ speaks truth, Christ acts
in truth. We could argue about notions of authority, but in
the end we are left with the glaring truth of Christ's word and
witness. In seeing the truth Christ presents, we become free
from our own competitive reaction to power and free to par-
ticipate in Christ's truth and authority. God's work then
becomes ours, and we can say with Christ, "... whatever God
does, that the Child of God does likewise."

The Gospel message invites us to exalt the name of Christ above
every other name, including our own. When we do so, we
find peace and freedom. We no longer have the need to
struggle to assert our own authority, for we now participate
in the authority of Christ.

      Jesus, I have striven against many and against you.
       My heart is weary. I long to yield to you that I may
                  know your strength in me and for me

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.

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