Will you throw the first stone at Jesus?

John 8 48-59

Today we find Jesus talking to the Judeans’ once again talking about God his father, and Abraham.
What Jesus is saying to them makes them think that he is a little crazy, or ‘demon possessed’.

They question what he is saying eventually deciding that he is blaspheming thinking himself to be God.

Jesus is really pushing them, they are getting more angry. How can this person be greater than Abraham? What is he saying? How can he have possibly known Abraham? What is Jesus saying that he is God? Jesus claimed that ‘before Abraham existed, I Am’ This is one of the meanings of YHWH, the secret and holy name of God.

According to the Judeans’ Jesus is definitely blaspheming..

The Judeans’ were already wanting to kill him, and his words today just give them the opportunity they were waiting for.

The Judeans’ pick up the stones.. but Jesus hides and leaves the temple.

At the beginning of the week we find Jesus saving a woman from being stoned by asking a simple question.

Today we find Jesus in the same situation. But are we surprised?

Jesus is telling them the truth, but the truth is just too much to take in they just can’t comprehend what he is telling them. They don’t understand so instead of trying to understand they call him names and think he is crazy.

It is easy for us looking back – to think we would have believed him.

But would we?

Or would we be the ones going to get the stones?

Jesus was claiming to be both human and divine. A concept that we still struggle with today.

I look back at history and I think of all the things that people didn’t believe could happen – but have.

So why is the concept of Jesus being divine and human so hard to believe?

For some people doubting what might be possible is how they live their life. I can’t possible do it, that can’t possibly be done. It’s just as well our great scientist didn’t think that..

For others see possibility in everything? I think I can I think I can… said the little engine. Everything is possible with God.

For children

Read the little engine.. it should have been impossible but with determination it became possible…

Anything is possible with God.
  • Hold up a glass half filled with water. 
  • Ask the children is the glass half full or half empty? 
  • It’s a matter of perspective. Whether you are an optimist or pessimist.
  • If you are a pessimist, it is half empty.
  • If you are an optimist it is half full.
  • An optimist will see a challenge and think yes I can do it.
  • A pessimist will see a challenge and say I can’t possibly do that. 

So, which are you?

If you believe that you can do something and keep trying and trying. Eventually after many times of failing you will do it.

Think of all the scientists – all the achievements in the last 100 years.

I wonder if people believed they could cure some kinds of cancer?

Or whether they could make computers? With internet so you could talk to people on the other side of the world? A hundred years ago it would have seemed impossible. But today we take it for granted.

God gives us talents – like being good at technology or being good at science he wants us to achieve to question.. to believe that we can..

The pessimist in Jesus’ day wanted to stone him for telling them the truth, because they didn’t understand. Those pessimists wanted to stone Jesus because they didn’t understand. They couldn’t see that God stood before them. That they had a fantastic opportunity to see God in Jesus and that opportunity was wasted due to them believing it was impossible.

Today you have the amazing opportunity of choice.

You can choose to believe the impossible?

Or you can throw the first stone…..

Try this with the children.

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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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