Daily Readings and Thought for April 13th. “YOU DO NOT HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD WITHIN YOU”


Who did Jesus say the above words to – and why?   The detail of the discussions of Jesus in the Gospel of John make marvellous reading because they provoke us to think very deeply. This is a special benefit of the Apostle’s possession of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, for John later tells us that Jesus had said that the Spirit “will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” [14 v.26] 

In today’s chapter (5) Jesus encounters the Jews in the temple. They appeared, to some extent, to be seeking while at the same time their opposition to him was starting to build up.  Jesus reminds them of their attitude and interest in John the Baptist. “You sent to John … He was a burning and a shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for awhile in his light.” [v.33,35]   They were looking for the Messiah, “the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John” [Luke 3 v.15]   These Jews went for that reason, but they did not really know what they were looking for, they had read the Scriptures with one eye closed!  And does that not happen today!  Did they really believe in God?   Today, many still believe there is a God, but if you say, ‘Do you believe IN God?’ what do they say?  Many do not really know what you mean! 

Jesus words’ to these Jews provoke our thoughts on this most vital question, he tells them, “His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you”. [v.37,38] God’s word must “abide” – must come alive in our minds. Now the climax to the Master’s words! “I know that you do not have the love of God within you.” [v.42]  Their attitude proved this, Jesus had said, “you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory (honour) from people.” [v.41,42] See the meaning of that last comment? Their minds were centred on the here and now, human relationships and the potential for prestige; this is why the love of God was not within them.  Tragic really – and tragedy was to follow.  So we ask ourselves – is the love of God really within us? 

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