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March 17, John Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Having come to Jerusalem, there was no turning back for Jesus. The moment had come for his glorification. But the request offers Jesus the opportunity to reveal the path that lay ahead. But, how will this happen? What is the mechanism? It might be helpful to set the scene. While Palm Sunday remains a little farther off in the distance, and with it the Triumphal Entry John The countdown has begun. The hour has come. There is no turning back — the cross lays ahead of him. As for us, the readers of this passage, a choice is being placed before us. Will we turn back? Or will we keep following Jesus — wherever that leads? His is a universalist message. Yes, even in John the humanity of Jesus is present. Nonetheless, he knows that the die is cast. There is no other way. Yes, the hour has come. The good news is that out of death comes life. As Jesus speaks of his own future, he invites his disciples and us to consider own destiny. The good news is — if you serve him, God will honor you. Even as Jesus is to be glorified in this journey, so might we be glorified. The question is — what does this entail? I appreciate the word given by Lee Butler. He speaks to the drive that is within us individuals, groups, corporations, and nations. That pathway seems prudent, at the very least. If you want to receive glory and honor, you will have to cease it. No one is going to give it to you. As we have seen of late, politics is no longer the art of the possible, but the mechanics of control. No one wants to give an inch, lest the other side see this as weakness. This is not the way of the world System? Yet there it is. He has been lifted up and transformed. He is now more than he was before. Nonetheless, that particular scene does point us away from the usual path to power and success. Glorification comes in a different form than the world has suggested. But it does seem to put things in perspective. There is no turning back. It is not that God has sent Jesus as a sacrificial victim, who is destined to serve as a substitute for punishment for human sin. But Jesus has come into the world to participate in a cosmic battle. Jesus refuses to fight the battle on the terms dictated by the Ruler of this World kosmos. Being that this is the fiftieth anniversary of the March from Selma to Montgomery, a march in which the evils of racism and segregation were clearly exposed to the world. It was the choice of nonviolence that enabled this to occur. The System seeks to bring order through violence. Jesus chooses to act through purposeful nonviolence, overturning the System. As we know, the conflict continues. The march goes on. But we also know that in the end the Ruler of the System will not prevail. The Greeks came to him, and he is lifted up so as to draw all people to himself. Now is the time.
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