Wednesday, March 28, 2007
II. Jesus’ “Soul is Troubled”
Please read Chapter 12 of the Gospel of John.
So, Jesus has raised Lazarus from the dead, and “the Jews” have decided to kill him. A woman anoints him with oil, which he understands as anointing him for his burial, and he rides triumphantly into Jerusalem.
Notice that in v27 Jesus repeats a variation on his statement from Chapter 11:
“Now my soul is troubled.”
This time he gives a partial answer:
“And what should I say – ‘Father, save me from this hour.’ No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.”
The reason he has come is to glorify the Father’s name: to reveal himself as the Word and as God’s love for creation and to demonstrate God’s power over sin and death.
In the Gospel of John we do not see Jesus say in the Garden “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me...” as he does in Luke 22. But, we hear a similar idea in the above statements: he recognizes that doubt and anxiety could hold him back. But nonetheless, he renews his commitment to the Father.
Notice this two-fold movement:
1. “I am tempted to doubt and be afraid – and I have good reason to be afraid…
2. But I choose to be faithful to the Father who has been faithful to me.”
When have you had reason to be afraid, to want to escape?
Who or what threatened to betray you?
Enemies? Those jealous of you? Your own body falling sick and betraying you?
Can you feel the movement away from fear toward trust in God?
In your prayer and reflection, be with Jesus as he is afraid,
recalling the threats against him.
Feel him turn from the fear to be with the Father.
Thank him for his faithfulness to the Father.
Ask him for the grace to do the same with whatever confronts you.