Tuesday, 15 April 2014

"HAVE YOU ALSO BEEN DECEIVED?" Bible Reading Thoughts for April 15th

“HAVE YOU ALSO BEEN DECEIVED” 

     This was the question, the comment, the Pharisees made when the officers they sent to arrest Jesus returned without him.  They reply, “No one ever spoke like this man!”  [John 7 v46,47]
     John, the most intimate of the disciples of Jesus (John 21 v7,20) records his teaching in great detail, one often needs to reflect and meditate deeply about the points he records Jesus as making.
     There was a 7 day feast in Jerusalem, many were looking for Jesus, but it was only “about the middle of the feast (that) Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching.” [v.14] They marvel at his words ; then Jesus says, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.  If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God …” [v.16,17]  And that is equally true today as we read his words and the other words God inspired men to write. Paul was later to declare, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness …” [2 Tim. 3 v.16]  The Proverbs we are presently reading are an outstanding example of this.
     If our hearts are genuinely operating on a spiritual wavelength we will accept the point Jesus makes, “The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.” [v.18]
     Ever since the days of Jesus the existence of human self-seeking among those claiming to follow him can be observed: Jesus sums up this part of his message by stating, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”[v.24]
     The religious leaders, dismayed at the popularity of Jesus were blinded by jealousy, there was no humility in their make-up, this is why they said to those who failed to arrest Jesus, “Have you also been deceived?” [v.47]
     Every generation since has had those who are self-deceived – it is the kind of pride that so easily springs from human nature.  Our careful and prayerful reading of God’s word is the antidote.  John made an essential point in his first letter, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” [1 v.8] Let is make sure the “truth is …in us” and read and meditate on God’s word every day and come closer to him and his Son who came to give real meaning and purpose to our lives.