Friday, December 25, 2020

The culmination of a great question

Where are you from?

It's a question I'm often asked when people who speak Spanish as a first language ask me when they find out I speak Spanish.

Senior, ¿De Donde eres?

In reading near the end of John, I realized that Pilate and the Pharisees had something in common. They were driven to ask Jesus questions related to where he was from, his origin.

What happened before Christmas and what led up to Christmas answer that question. A birth is usually thought of as a beginning, but in this case, it's the very end of a long question of origination. Once on the scene, the from question has reached its conclusion.

For the Pharisees, the answer was obscured by what they thought they knew of Jesus, not realizing (or forgetting) that he had known much travel as a young child: to Bethlehem for the census, to Egypt to escape danger, and to a different home town to be raised than where he was born.

Before that, he was conceived of the Holy Spirit, not a man, and born to a virgin. He was from heaven, of God, and not of man. He knew God the Father as His Father without any need for reconciliation.

Jesus knew “where I came from and where I will go” (John 8:14). After some back and forth, the Pharisees finally asked Him, “Who exactly are You?” (8:25). The question makes a lot of sense because our origin and our destination say a lot about who we are.

For Pilate, he believed Jesus was from God more than the Pharisees did. When he heard the claim that Jesus was the Son of God, he was terrified. That immediately drove him to go to Jesus and ask directly, “Where are you from?” (19:9).

There's so much that could be said and written about the dynamics in both those interactions described in John. The most important question is how we answer the one Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20).

I pray your answer is the same as Peter's, “You are the Christ of God.” He is the Savior, the anointed promised Messiah, sent to be the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.

If we believe that, then we change our destination to being with and reconciled to God forever.

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