2020 has felt like it has been one tragedy after another. Now, protesters are pouring into the streets from the Yukon to Winnipeg to Montreal to Halifax. The resounding messages are these: Black Lives Matter. Indigenous Lives Matter. We are tired of the killing of Black and Indigenous people. We are tired of tragedy and institutionalized racism. We will accept the status quo no more.
The “devil”, or “accuser”, in our reading today belongs not just in the wild place, leering at Jesus, but in any number of places in present-day Canada. You can hear them by the cash register at Canadian Tire, in the classroom, on the TV, and in our homes. They might look at your skin colour and ask: Where are you from? Sudbury? No. Where are you “really” from?
Crowds, in the Gospel of John, don’t ask smart questions. And the Johannine Jesus never gives straight answers.
But, in all this cryptic dialogue, something new is being revealed.
Moments before Jesus was working miracles, and now the crowds have followed him to learn more about who he is.
What kind of teacher is he? Where does his power come from? Is he Moses? He works wonders like Moses did. He fed them like Moses fed the Israelites.
But, he’s not quite like Moses; instead…