Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Lent Devotional March 16, 2014

Scripture

John 5:19-24

19 Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. 20 The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. 21 Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. 22 The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life."

Devotional

On Sundays in Lent, the Daily Lectionary alternates with the Gospel for the weekdays. If the weekday Gospel is Mark, Sundays switch to John. In years when the weekday Gospel is John, Sundays switch to Mark. Since we’re reading Mark on weekdays, we’ll switch to John on Sundays. In reading this morning’s passage, it’s striking just how different the two Gospels are. The tone, the style, even the vocabulary is completely different. Although the person we encounter is the same, it’s helpful that throughout Lent we have the chance to encounter two different voices in describing him.  As we continue our journey, notice the similarities and differences between Mark and John.  

In this passage Jesus talks about life. The language is different, the tone is different, but this Jesus is consistent with the accounts we have encountered in the Gospel of Mark—encounters when Jesus heals the paralytic, cures on the Sabbath, and calls sinners. Whether it’s the abstract and poetic words about moving from death to life, or concrete stories about healing, Jesus is concerned with bringing healing, life, and forgiveness.  

Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.