April 16

Tuesday in Holy Week   “They still would not believe in him.”

Scripture John 12:37-38; 42-50

 37 Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
   “Lord, who has believed our message
      and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

 42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

 44 Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

 47 “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

Reader: This is the word of the Lord.   Response: Thanks be to God.

Some thoughts:
“If I can just see it, I’ll believe it.” How many times have you heard that? It’s not true. We can see and still not believe, especially when it comes to faith. Remember the story Jesus told of Abraham, Lazarus and the rich man after they had died? The rich man told them to go tell his brothers he was tormented in Hades and that they should believe God so they wouldn’t have to come to his place of torment. Abraham’s response was if they didn’t believe Moses and the prophets, they wouldn’t believe someone coming back from the dead. Jesus had just raised someone from the dead and done other miraculous signs in the Pharisees’ presence and still they would not believe. Yet many others did see and believe. A major factor in the unbelieving Pharisees was, “What will my friends think?” Have you ever been embarrassed to say what you believe? Have you ever stood silently while others expressed beliefs contrary to Scripture? We live in a culture that ridicules and mocks Christian belief in regards to marriage and sexuality to name a couple of hot button issues. Have you noticed Jesus was not influenced by anyone but his heavenly Father. In his words, he came to save the world. People’s own words and decisions in regard to Jesus’ words would be their own judge. He spoke the exact words his Father gave him and in the way his Father told him to speak them. Their concern was their rejection of the words of God. Our perspective is to speak the words of God in love and grace. We are speaking of the glory and beauty of another eternal world accessed through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ . . . and we’re concerned what others think?

Music:Hymn of the Cherubim”    by P.I. Tchaikovsky

The USSR Ministry Of Culture Chamber Choir


Translation of the Russian below:

“We, who mystically represent the Cherubim,
And chant the thrice-holy hymn to the Life-giving Trinity,
Let us set aside the cares of life
That we may receive the King of all,
Who comes invisibly escorted by the Divine Hosts.”

Hymn: “Ah, Holy Jesus”            Johann Heermann,  early 17th century

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,                                                                                                     That man to judge thee hath in hate pretended? By foes derided, by thine own rejected,                                                                                                              O most afflicted.

Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, you have said that you are the way, the truth, and the life. Suffer us not to stray from you, who are the way, nor to distrust you, who are the truth, nor to rest in anything other than you, who are the life.
–Erasmus, 1469-1536  

Please plan to be with us Thursday noon at 12:15 PM for the Maundy Thursday service and then  for the Good Friday service with the Chancel Choir at 7:00 PM. It will change your Easter Sunday morning!