Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Apr 11, 2013 | Comments (0)

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

John 10:22-30 I have told you, and you do not believe.


We change our worldly life to feel God’s Presence.

Godly feeling His Presence changes our life.

Jesus took common words and gave them the spiritual meaning of being in the Presence of the Spirit. Here the word “blasphemy” means spiritually being out of the Presence of the Spirit.

Belief is not a matter of facts. Belief is a reality that we create when we see the facts. The religious leaders did not believe who Jesus was, not because of the evidence but because of what they thought about the evidence. They were both on different pages.

“So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered, ‘The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me.’” Why were the Jewish leaders interested in having Jesus tell them who He was if they would not believe it even if He told them?

The truth lays buried in the Good Friday narratives. It is the reason why Christ was “legally” crucified. It is why they were asking for Jesus to tell them plainly who He was. It is why Jesus was not more specific.

It all started Thursday evening in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is in prayer when the soldiers arrest Him. They are not Roman Troops. They are from the Temple Guards. He is taken to the Temple. There He stands before the seventy elders of the Sanhedrin. They have already convicted Him once to die. To make it stick, the law says a person has to be convicted of death twice.

Those who arrest Jesus take Him to Caiaphas the high priest. There the teachers of the law and the elders have assembled. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin are looking for evidence against Jesus so they can put him to death. We found this fellow saying that He Himself is Christ, the King. But they do not find any, though many false witnesses come forward.

The high Priest says to Him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”  “You have said so,” Jesus replied. Then the High Priest tears his clothes and says, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answer.

Why death? “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death, all the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.” Leviticus 24:15

The next morning Jesus is taken before Pilate to be sentenced. The Jews have the right to apply their laws, except they cannot put a person to death. Only Rome could make that decision.

Pilate asks Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" He is referring to the difference between Roman and Jewish Law.

Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answers, “My kingdom is not from this world. As it is, my kingdom is not from here.” So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.” But they were the more fiercer saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea.”

Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. I will therefore chastise Him and release Him.”

Jesus was beaten with forty lashes. The whip had leather thongs at the tip and metal pieces attached to the thongs. Some would die under the beating. Jesus was dragged out before the people. There, on His hands and knees, He came wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. Pilate said to the Jewish leaders, “Behold the man.” He meant that this man was not a god, look at him!

They all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Calvary’s mournful mountain was climbed. “It is finished!” Hear Him cry.

What do we do with the law of blasphemy in the Bible? Jesus changed the Law, what else?

“I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven and blasphemies against anyone they shall blaspheme: but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin."

What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is always in all of us. We all are not always “in” this Presence. When the Spirit moves and we do not, we lose forever that moment. We will never get that opportune time back. There will be other times and movements of the Spirit. We can learn from the ones lost to be ready for the next movement. Whether we are ready to move with the Spirit or without is up to us. That is how grace works. Up and in or down and out?

Matthew 26:60,Matthew 26:63-66,Mark 3:28-29,Luke 23:4-5,Luke 23:13-16,John10:24-25,John 18:12-24,John 18:33-36,John 19:5

We try to follow His way to feel His grace.

In feeling the grace He has for and in us we become followers.


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