IS THIS BIBLICAL? As we finished up Mark's gospel in our morning services a few weeks ago, we noticed that the last half of the final chapter was formatted differently than the first and that it contains some very strange teachings. There's all sorts of evidence showing that Mark didn't write those paragraphs, and that they were added decades or even centuries after Mark wrote. The beginning of John 8 is formatted the exact same way, and although this passage is not as theologically questionable as the passage in Mark, there are lots of good reasons scholars have concluded it was not put there by John. Don't let these questions regarding authenticity shake your confidence in the Bible, however. Rather these questions should increase your confidence! Know that there are thousands of years of scholarship at work to make sure what's in the Bible is fully God's Word, and when there are questions, they're dealt with in the open for all to consider.
IFTTT (IF THIS THEN THAT): Even if you're not familiar with the logical expression IFTTT, you use it all the time. If it's dark, you turn the lights on; if it's cold, you put on a coat, etc. Jesus makes two massive IFTTT statements in chapter 8:
you do not believe that Jesus is not of this world
you will indeed die in your sins (v24)
you hold to His teaching (which is to believe in Jesus)
you really are His disciple;
and you will know the truth;
and the truth will set you free (v31-32).
Our IFTTT decisions are not always consistent. We don't always turn on the lights or put a coat on even if it's dark and cold. Know that Jesus' divine logic will always and consistently be true.
MIC DROPS: The world would have you believe that Jesus was a nice guy who went around fighting social injustice and singing Kumbaya with a gently strumming guitar. This is not how Jesus is presented in the gospels at all. In fact, Jesus quite aggressively picks on the sinful inadequacies of His enemies:
Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God (v47).
As if that was not aggressive enough, Jesus goes all out in v58, using the holiest divine name to indicate that Jesus is not just the Son of God, but that He's God incarnate:
Before Abraham was born, I AM.
Take time today to meditate (think deeply about) how massively radicle Jesus' statements were. How should you reflect this radicalness in our sinful society?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is your Father through the grace made possible by Jesus' life, death and resurrection
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for strength to obey Jesus' Word (v51)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: