by Sheridan Voysey - Our Daily Journey
Read the first 8 chapters of the gospel of John and you get the distince impression that inaccurate views of two men - Moses and Abraham - stood in the way of many first-century Jews believeing in Jesus.
Jesus heals a lame man on the Sabbath (5:8-10). The Pharisees charge Jesus with breaking the Mosaic Law (vv. 10,16,10). Moses remained their authority even though the Lord of the Sabbath had come. (Luke 6:5)
Jesus calls the Jews to believe in Him (John 6:29). "Show us a miraculous sign," they reply. Moses had given them manna from heaven - "What can you do?" (vv. 30-31). They clung to the bread of Moses when the "Bread of life" was right there (vv. 32-36).
Jesus calls for followers whom He will set free (8:31-32). "But we are descendants of Abraham," the people reply. "We have never been slaves to anyone" and so need no release (v. 33).
"Anyone who obeys My teaching will never die!" Jesus says a few moments later (v. 51). "Are You greater than our father Abraham?" the Jews retort (v. 53).
In case after case, misinterpretation and misunderstanding of Moses and Abraham blurred their vision to the One to whom these very hoeroes were pointing (5:46). Did you catch that? The two men were not the problem - Jesus commended their examples (8:39). But the inaccurate view of any religious hero can keep us from accurately seeing Jesus.
Who are your religious heroes? Lutherans might say Martin Luther. Methodists might say John Wesley. Reformed folks might say John Calvin. How many theological battles have been fought between the modern-day followers of each? When others are raised as ultimate heroes, Jesus is eclipsed.
Christian leaders are God's gift to us (Ephesians 4:7-13), but wholehearted devotion belongs to Jesus alone.
Read: John 8:31-58
Next: Which religious heroes are you prone to idolize? How have your thoughts, words, and actions revolved around them rather than around Jesus?
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