Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
Religion makes you feel good! Well, kind of! It is the performing of ritual acts by way of worship. All of the effort and discipline, that goes in to those religious endeavours, brings about a certain sense of fulfilment and achievement.
So, what if someone comes along and offers greater fulfilment and greater achievement, with none of the religious practices required? In fact, what if someone said that all of those religious practices were futile and built on lies?
This is what happened to the religious people of Jesus’ day. They were so incensed by the challenge presented by Jesus that they wanted to stone him. In our reading, there is a stand off created between religion and reality. It is interesting to see the standpoint that each of them takes.
Those that represent religion in the narrative, seek to advance their cause with more effort and force (stoning). However, Jesus, who is the reality of God incarnate, simply hides.
The position of effort and force causes Jesus to hide. Reality will never be found by such means. The reality of God comes about by finding Him in the secret place. It is there, you will discover that he hid himself, in order to be found by you. It is in the quiet, private, honest moments, that the reality of God manifests itself to you.
Have I been trying hard to impress God and others with of my efforts, disciplines, and practices? Is it time to stop trying so hard? Is it time to sit quietly and honestly in His presence and to rebuild a walk with God from a place of a new reality?
Lord, today I want to live in the reality that Jesus brings. Help me today to cast off the things that I think impress you or garner more attention from you. Help me to be real and honest in your presence, knowing that this is how I will find you.