Friday, April 1, 2011

Devotional Reading 4

For our reading of the last week of Jesus' life in each of the Gospels, we are reading from John's Gospel. It's found in John 12:12 - 21:25. One of the things you will notice in this reading is how very different the account is compared to the other Gospels. It's an interesting excercise to note the differences and additions and ask, "How does this help me more fully understand Jesus' last week on earth?"

For instance, one significant difference is that John does not place the "cleansing of the temple" directly after Jesus enters Jerusalem. The "cleansing" is there, but much earlier in John's Gospel.

It's also interesting to see just how much time Jesus spends in prayer in John's version, and also how much time Jesus spends with his disciples preparing them for his death.

A page from my journal... Luke is clearly a friend of women. This stands out not so much against the backdrop of a 21st century world, but it certainly is stark in a 1st century world. One of the features of Jesus' last week in Luke's gospel is a beautiful and powerful scene of a woman who comes to the temple to make her offering. Woman were only allowed in a specific location in the temple, near the outer court, and they could not go further, ever. The scene is of her placing a very small amount into the "treasury", in a line of others who are placing great amounts in the offering. Jesus draws our attention to this woman's offering and says, "She in her poverty put in all that she had to live on." It's telling that Luke places this story here in the context of Jesus' last week, as things inch closer to the cross. It's a living illustration that she is like Jesus in terms of complete and utter self-sacrifice and trust. Whoa! That hits me like a ton of bricks. mtd.