A very interesting story today in Acts 14 for our first reading. After healing a man who had been crippled from birth, Paul and Barnabas are worshipped as gods. This does not sit too well with them and they tell the people that they are just men; flesh and bone like them. Funny…I know some people who probably wouldn’t have argued with the people! In our Gospel reading today from John 14, Jesus says, “Whoever loves me will keep my word…whoever does not love me does not keep my words.”
Do you love Jesus? Of course you do! So do I. Yet I see this saying of Jesus and it gives me pause. Jesus had some very tough words, didn’t He? That whole love your enemy thing. Pray for those who persecute you. Shoot, the whole Sermon on the Mount is darn near impossible! In fact, without God’s help, it is all impossible. But Jesus also said, “With God, all things are possible.”
As I go through my life, I often wonder if Jesus looks at me and plays a little game of “he loves me, he loves me not.” There are times when I feel like I’m doing OK with the whole keeping Jesus’ word thing. And there are other times (probably a lot more than the former) where I fall woefully short. But I believe that, as long as we keep trying and never give up, Jesus gets it. And that’s a very good thing.
Father, forgive us for those times when we fail to keep Jesus’ words. Help us to rely on you for our strength; for then we cannot fail. Amen.