Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Meno

Reading through the Gospel of John and his epistles', you can't help but notice his infatuation with the word "abide". Check that. One can't help but notice Jesus' usage of the word "abide" and John's recording of it.

Abiding. Not a word used in every day common circles in interaction in today's world, but used by Jesus continually in John, especially chapters 14-16. This word abide, in the original language, Greek (Gk. meno), has a very strong meaning. To abide can mean "to not depart", "to endure", "to await for", or may favorite..."to remain as one, not to become another or different." I like this definition because Jesus, when he talks of abiding, is really trying to drive home a point. He uses the word countless times in these three chapters in John.

Again, abiding. What does this mean to you as a Believer? I think context here is huge. Jesus uses this word to describe His relationship with Father and how our relationship should be with Him. He definitely makes it clear that abiding is something we need to be accountable for..He does His part, I promise you that. Jesus completely abides in the Father. He uses the word abide in a way that it has already happened or is perpetually taking place (i.e. The Trinity). Therefore, he urges His followers to do the same with Him. He wants the same relationship with His followers as He has with Father...he loves us that much, He wants to show us what that looks like. "To become as one" as the Greek says..Jesus wants to become as one with us.

Why is this concept so important? Why is it crucial to our Walk? I think it is because the word abide seems to indicate that when one is practicing it separation isn't possible..it is set! We need that! And finally, as Jesus finishes using this type of rhetoric He moves right into a discourse of the coming rejection and persecution. He knows He will need the Father when His time for suffering comes, and He knows we will need Him when our time comes. It is no coincidence that Jesus talks about abiding and then jumps right into hardships that will come...We must and have to...abide!

4 comments:

T` said...

I too took note of the frequent use of the word abide. I meditate on that often and don't think I can quite wrap my mind around what it really feels, looks like and means to fully abide in Jesus. I think though, pondering it is kind of the point.
My mom knew I liked to dwell on the word so she painted it for me. On a canvas, she painted grey clouds and a opening in the clouds, siver and gold rays shining through with the word abide written softly in greek style writing. I'm visual so it's nice to look at while I ponder Jesus important word to me.

Grace and peace mi hermano!

Makeesha said...

intersting how often the concept is used in the Psalms as well. It seems as though David et al had a very good understanding of the necessity to abide. Great thoughts brother.

John Lynch said...

Hey homeboy - it's been a while since we touched base, so I just wanna remind you that I LOVE YA! (& now that that expression of emotionally exuberant effervescence is out of the way...)

I like how you contrast "abide" with "separation" here. I've been reflecting on parallel ideas of "dependent" vs. "independent". From the beginning of creation, abiding dependence is an elemental part of life. We breathe, drink, eat, sleep... etc. Adam & Eve depended on the presence of God, the tree of life, & each other. Life is a dependent reality... especially dependent on the Source of life - God. INDEPENDENCE - that popularized, democratic notion, present in the heart of every fallen being - always results in death.

Besides "abide", the Apostle has another favorite word that permeates all his writing: LIFE. It is no accident that "abiding" & "life" are connected concepts for John. Abiding dependence results in life. Separated independence results in death. I love that it's not a command... just an indicative description of the way things are. Gravity pulls things down, water makes you wet, life requires abiding dependence. Such a simple, wonderful, deep thing!

Thanks for stirring me up! Life & peace as you abide dependently in Christ, man! - John

Jennifer said...

Are you being safe? Hope so. Praying for you, always.