Presentation on theme: "Lent 2012 “The Sign of Jesus” John 2:13-22 1 Corinthians 1:18-25."— Presentation transcript:
Lent 2012 “The Sign of Jesus” John 2:13-22 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
JOHN 2 Jesus at Cana performs “the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” (2:11) What is a sign? An act that brings glory to God by making him known (e.g., a miracle).
The danger in signs: Easily misinterpreted Can become ends in themselves Jesus is therefore very careful and even secretive in his use of signs.
JOHN 2 Jesus enters the Temple courts and drives out the animal-sellers and money-changers. (2:13-22)
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
This is the sign of Jesus. God would reveal himself through Jesus’ death (“destroy this temple” = crucifixion). The Resurrection (“raise it again”) would confirm Jesus as a true prophet and the Messiah, and his cruciform ministry as from God.
JOHN 3 Then Nicodemus comes to Jesus: 2 “For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
Jesus teaches that we must be “born again” (or “from above”) to apprehend the surprising economy of God’s kingdom. By Jesus’ own example, this kingdom is not established by consolidating power but rather by yielding to God’s will, which for Jesus included servant-hood, suffering, and death.
1 CORINTHIANS 1 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Paul tells the Corinthian Christians that Jesus’ way is not one of human power (signs) or wisdom, but rather of weakness. Jesus revealed God and accomplished God’s will not by coming in power but in weakness, suffering, and death (“Christ crucified”).
In the same way, God has chosen us to reveal him not by our human strength or success, but by God’s success in and through our human weakness. We can have confidence even (especially!) in our weakness because Jesus has met God’s requirements once and for all, and we who believe are in him.
Why does God choose to accomplish his work through weakness? 29 So that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
What does all of this mean for us? God’s economy, exemplified and confirmed in Jesus, is based on Jesus’ achievement, not ours. Recognition of our weakness, and willingness to live in it, leads to humility as we learn to boast in the Lord rather than ourselves. It also brings honor to God!
How can we respond to these truths? Give thanks to God that in Christ he accepts and works through us even though we are weak. Stop trying to make ourselves perfect. Stop expecting others to be perfect. Allow ourselves to be shaped by God’s story, not other stories.
Some other stories: “I could overcome sin if I just tried hard enough!” “I am better than those people!” “If people knew what I am really like, they would reject me.” “I am in control of my destiny!” “I deserve to be treated well!” “God expects me to be happy always!”
2 Corinthians 12 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.