Bible Reading: John 8:12-30; Jeremiah 9:23-24
When we read the interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees in John 8, we see the wisdom of God pitted against the wisdom of the world. The Pharisees doubt the authority of Jesus, and so they challenge his every word. Although they never see eye-to-eye, this conversation gets very heated. The Pharisees have become so wrapped up in their knowledge and legalism, that they despise the teachings of Christ. Jesus claims to be light and life to all who believe, but the Pharisees have placed their life in the Law of God. There is a phrase Jesus speaks in this passage that shows a major point of belief and difference. In John 8:17, Jesus says, “In your Law it is written –.” The Pharisees claim to follow and teach the Law of God, but Jesus calls it their Law. The Pharisees have wandered away from true faith and worship in God and have learned to place their faith in confidence in God’s Law.
The Apostle Paul picks up this thought in his letter to the Romans, and he points out that God’s Law is not wicked or sinful. God’s Law is good because it teaches us God’s standard of living and it instructs us in holiness. The issue in John 8 is where the faith is being placed: in God, or in His Law? If faith is placed in the Law, then our hope and confidence rely solely on our performance and obedience. If our faith is placed in God alone, then even though we should fall into sin, we hope and rely on God to save us. God is not in competition with His Law, as if we must choose one or the other. We love God, and we love the Bible (which includes His Law) He has given to us. The question then becomes this: what do you place your confidence in?
Call to Action: We live in a world that loves accomplishment. Many people of dreaming of ascending to the top of their field, becoming established financially, and living out their dreams. They have put their confidence, ambition and self into this pursuit of happiness. Sadly, there is not accomplishment or fulfilled-dream that satisfies the human heart. Read what God says in Jeremiah 9:23-24, “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord…” Take some time to consider what you place your confidence and hope in. Are you confident that your dreams and ambitions will fill your heart and give your soul peace? Or are you confident in God? Do you have peace knowing that no matter what this world says or does against you, that your God is and practices, “steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth”? You can be confident when God and Christ are your all and all. Surrender your life to Him, and may He fill you with His love and peace.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to place our hope in you. Teach us to be confident that you alone are God, and that you are above all things. May we trust you above and more than anything this world has to offer. We love you. Amen.