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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 102:2-3, 16-21
John 8:21-30

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putting words in our mouths

"Because He spoke this way, many came to believe in Him." —John 8:30

More than anything else in the world, we want people to believe in Jesus. Therefore, we're interested in understanding what John meant when he said that many people believed in Jesus because He spoke in a certain way. What is "this way of speaking" that leads many to believe?

  1. Jesus claimed to be God. Three times He called Himself I AM, the Jewish name for God (Jn 8:24, 28, 58).
  2. Jesus spoke of God as the Father and spoke of His unity with the Father (Jn 8:27-29).
  3. Jesus bluntly told the people that they would die in their sins unless they believed in His divinity (Jn 8:21, 24).
  4. Jesus confronted sinners with their sinfulness but did not condemn them (Jn 8:26).

Jesus focused on God's Fatherhood, His own divinity, and our sinfulness. He spoke boldly and bluntly with a "tough love." This way of speaking led many to believe in Him (Jn 8:30).

How should we speak in Jesus' name? We must focus on God the Father and the divinity of Jesus, be bold and blunt, confront but not condemn. How many are believing in Jesus because of the way we speak? Jesus did not speak on His own. The Father commanded Him "what to say and how to speak" (Jn 12:49). We too should speak just as God instructs us (see Jn 12:50).

Prayer:  Father, may I "only tell the world what I have heard" from You (Jn 8:26).

Promise:  "Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered." —Nm 21:9

Praise:  Maria listened to the promptings of the Spirit as she proclaimed Jesus, her First Love.

Reference:  (Do you understand your place in the body of Christ? Attend our Who am I in Christ? retreat Apr. 15-16, to help discern. Call 513-373-2397.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, XXX 11, 2011

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