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John 7:50

posted Jun 13, 2012, 9:26 AM by David Gerhart
"Does our law condemn anyone with our first hearing him to find out what he is doing?"  John 7:50

The answer lies in what we are conditioned to hear.  Modern cultures, influenced by Christian ethics for a couple of thousand years, prohibit many things.  Prior to Christianity, in the Greek world for instance -- in the vacuum of idolatry -- there was much less modesty.  Still, there were those who understood and did differently.

Truths of God lie everywhere, for those who will receive (hear) them.  In the story told in John 7:50 the Jews proceeded to ignore Nicodemus, proceeding illegally (after a time) to arrest and murder Jesus.  Using every religious dogma to circumvent their own law.  Sound familiar, in these times?

The Zen master pours the student's tea and keeps pouring, the cup overflows.  Finally the student protests the waste and mess.  The master then instructs "How can the cup receive when it is already full."  The analogy in our case is that the Jews were so full of their own "tea" that, in league, they acted to preserve their place (and understanding) at the expense of truth.

If one is bothered by finding truths in other traditions, their cup is full.  Further, receiving this truth doesn't lessen conviction that the traditions of men make assertions that are simply not true.  Recognizing truths like these reinforce our correct understanding, if we possess the discernment required to first filter all things in the spirit.

For instance, Zen asserts (and many adopt) the position: "There are many paths to the top of Mount Fuji.  Once there, we all sit under the same full moon."  The abuse of this orientation to enlightenment provides convenient and very slippery slopes for Christians.

"But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Mat. 7:14"

When we are full of our own stuff, there is no room.  Negligent of hearing, we listen to convenient, misleading testimonies.  Taking the easier path, resting on comforting assurances is dangerous.  Vigilance and a firm stance are required...

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." Eph 3:14-15

An empty cup is a thirsty, willing and ready cup.  See perhaps, the discussion from the Sermon on the Mount.