Archive for May 7th, 2019

People have often faulted the Bible for inconsistencies. Rarely in the lessons or the life of Jesus is this true.

Recently though, as the Easter story was read at church, I found what seemed an inconsistency as a verse was read and another popped into my mind.

The verse read was John 13:33:

“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.”

The one that popped into my mind was just a few verses away, in John 14:3:

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

On first glance it would seem that Jesus is giving contradictory messages to his disciples (the audience he is addressing in both accounts).

As I investigated these verses I learned a few things. In the first verse, Jesus address “my children”. This is a tender address, and this is the only time Jesus ever addresses his disciples this way. It is akin to saying my darlings and is usually reserved for use with children.

It is as though he is saying is that it is not their time to go with him … that they are not ready. He knows what is to come in the following hours … the suffering, death. That is his lot, not theirs.

They lacked maturity, courage … shown after his arrest when they fled and hid, completely denying their close relationship with him.

Ah, then in the second passage, as tenderly as the one who addressed them as “my children” he continues his parental love and care, much like we might do if we were leaving our children with a babysitter. He gives assurance that he will return, that he is always with them.

I loved what I read in the Pulpit Commentary, on the first passage, which actually brings the two together (as did my mind, initially thinking they were contradictory). Restated, as though Jesus himself were the one to expand on the grander connection of these two verses:

“The time is not yet come for you to enter into my glory; you cannot yet come, you have to continue my earthly ministry, to prolong the testimony which I have given concerning God, and which God has given concerning me. The time will come when “I will receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also;” but now he prays, “though I am no more in this world, these are in the world holy Father, keep them” (John 17:11).

So folks, as the Eastertide season (from Easter Sunday to Pentecost) continues, as we continue to consider Jesus’ resurrection from the dead … we need to be reminded that we still have purpose in being here, in being left behind, as it were. But, there is a place, personally prepared by Jesus himself, and one day we will be with him in that place.

Until then, we have the assurance that Jesus is still interceding on our behalf.

“though I am no more in this world,
these are in the world holy Father,
keep them”
John 17:11

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