A new understanding of an old kind of noose

Tonight’s Fusion text was John 5:19-47.  We had some really good discussion about various part of it, including cool things about the Trinity (that God is in community, that the persons of the Trinity have different roles, etc.) and about how Jesus did only what He saw the Father doing. 

What really hit me, though, was something God has been working on in me for years.  Literally.  I wish it hadn’t taken me this long, and I don’t think I understand it yet as much as I need to, but I’m thankful that God is gracious with me.

Jesus said it in two verses:

“I don’t depend on what people say about me.” [vs. 34, CEV]

“I don’t care about human praise” [vs. 41, CEV]

Jesus goes on to ask the Jews, “How could you possibly believe?  You like to have your friends praise you, and you don’t care about the praise that only God can give!”  [vs. 44, CEV]

At this point in Fusion, I used the oh-so-handy e-sword search feature to find the phrase “fear of man,” since it seems clear that the Jews were living out of the fear of man instead of the fear of God.  That led me to Proverbs 29:25, which says,

“The fear of man brings [*applies, hangs, fastens] a snare [*noose, hook], but he who trusts [*finds refuge, puts confidence] in the Lord will be exalted [*be safe, inaccessible, set up on high].” (NASB)

That principle, when fit into the situation of the Jews that Jesus was talking to, makes for a pretty strong statement.  Here’s my paraphrase of verse 44:

How could you believe the freeing truth of Who I am?  “You have the noose of pleasing the people around you sucking the life out of you instead of pleasing God by trusting Him and finding security there.

Jesus was so clearly sure about His identity.  He knew Who He was and He understood His relationship with the Father.  Everything He did flowed out of that security.

I want to be like Jesus in this.  I want to be so set in my identity as a daughter of the Father that I will not depend on what people say about me, good or bad, and that everything will flow out of the security of that relationship.

______________________________________________________________ 

*alternate translation, found by looking up the definition of the Hebrew or Greek word using Strong’s Concordance.  Maybe someday I’ll know Hebrew, but until then Strong is a good friend.

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