November 17

 

They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” John 6:42

 

This passage shows how the Israelites complained about what Jesus taught.  They thought it was ridiculous, foolish, and offensive for him to claim that he came down from heaven and could have eternal life.  After all, they knew his father, Joseph, and his mother, Mary.  They complained because they thought either he was telling an outrageous lie or he was a complete fool.  Why would he try to convince them that he had come down from heaven when his parents lived near Capernaum.

John writes this as a warning to everyone.  When it comes to God’s Word and how God deals with us, we shouldn’t worry whether or not it makes sense.  If you want to be a Christian and understand the teachings of the Christian faith, you shouldn’t judge the Christian doctrines with your mind to find out whether or not they sound correct.  Instead, you should immediately say, “I’m not asking how it all makes sense.  All I need to know is whether it is God’s Word or not.  If God said it, then that decides it.”  Often I have warned you not to argue about lofty, spiritual matters or try to figure them out.  For as soon as you try to make sense of them and put them in terms you can understand, you slip and fall.

Origen and other church fathers had that experience.  They made the mistake of reaching too high.  They tried to combine reason and worldly righteousness with the doctrines of the Christian faith.  These teachings transcend our reason.

Martin Luther’s Here I Stand (Audio CD)

In the late afternoon ofApril 18, 1521, in the city ofWorms,Germany, Martin Luther, a 37 year-old Catholic monk was called to defend himself before Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor. The speech he delivered that day, Here I Stand, marked the beginning of the Reformation, a critical turning point in Christian history that decisively altered the spiritual map of the world. In this recording, Max McLean introduces the events leading up to the Diet of Worms; Martin Luther’s prayer the night before he delivered his speech; Luther’s stirring defense; the Catholic church’s rebuttal; and, Luther’s final heartfelt response.

 

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