Third Sunday of Lent
Do you mimic the likes and dislikes of your dad?
As a foster parent, it is not uncommon for children to ask my husband if they can call him dad. And shortly after that, they are wearing Toronto Maple Leaf jerseys, listening to Bruce Springsteen, and saying phrases like, “Take that and rewind it back!” Like father, like son, so the saying goes. This is partially what Jesus is touching on in our reading today.
Can you feel the tension? The anger and frustration of the unbelieving Jews has escalated to an all-time high. Jesus’ words of freedom trigger an argument about who their real father is because Abraham would certainly not commit murder! At the temple Jesus publicly “calls them out” (8:40). Ouch! Jesus highlights their resistance to listening to Him, dismantling their claim that they even belong to God. This had the Jews irate, calling Him inappropriate names because of His virgin birth to Mary. They continued to hurl insults, calling Him delusional. Jesus again offers eternal life, the truth that He is God. Full of rage, they impulsively pick up stones to kill Him right then and there. All this, triggered by Jesus’s invitation to be a disciple and live a life of freedom.
The Jews were not living in a way that was consistent with God as their dad. We too act this way. We have a tendency to reject God’s teachings, especially when they challenge our ideas of freedom. The paradox is that we experience freedom when we surrender to Him. Only then can we begin to resemble the kind of child that Jesus was to His Father.
The truth comes from knowing God as our dad, living out of obedience to Him, as Jesus did, so we can experience freedom! So, who’s your daddy?
How can you live in such a way as to mimic your heavenly Father?
Sophia Attema is Family Life Pastor at Southridge Community Church in St. Catharines, ON.