Letters to the Prison - Week 116

Greetings!  We hope these letters are encouraging you.  Know that we are praying for you.  Pray for us, too, please!  We need it!  If you want to join our study and need a Bible, ask for one!
We’re continuing our study of John 10 and the conversation between Jesus and the people who want to stone him to death.  Read that sentence again.  Jesus, the One who claims to be the Almighty and only righteous God of the universe and the only Perfect Judge of all people, is attempting to have a reasonable conversation…  with people who want to murder him.  Friends, if you ever want to see even a glimpse of the profound and true love that God has for all people, watch how he interacts with his worst enemies.  We need to take a lesson from this:
• 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”-John 10:37-39
From the beginning of this conversation (which started in John 10:24), Jesus has:
Spoken the truth… boldly, clearly, plainly, patiently --and not hatefully.
Listened carefully to the opinions and reasoning of his enemies (John 10:32-33).
Reasoned from the Scriptures (John 10:34-36).
Reasoned from obvious, apparent, and public evidence (John 10:25, 37-38).
Appealed to that evidence so that they might accept the truth--
oeven if they don’t believe him.
oand even if they don’t like him.
Is this how we interact with the people in our lives?  Even the ones we like, let alone our most bitter enemies?  This is not the only place Jesus sets such an example.  We should always be paying close attention to Jesus.  He is our best example for how to live in a way that honors God in all circumstances.  Meanwhile, despite Jesus’ flawless behavior towards his enemies:
•Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.    –John 10:39
Note also, by the way, how Jesus composes himself in these interactions by submitting always to the will and plan of God the Father.  Consider these three truths about Jesus:
1.Being God, he is perfectly right and perfectly just in both his judgment (2 Timothy 4:1) of and vengeance upon all mankind.  Look what Paul says:
oBeloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  -Romans 12:19
2.Jesus has the power at his disposal to utterly wipe out his enemies right then and there:
oDo you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?-Matthew 26:53
3.And yet, Jesus always submits to the will of God the Father… even to his own harm:
o“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”-Luke 22:42
We must consider these things carefully in every interaction we might face.  We love you!

Dean A.

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