“Your Son’s Here!”

“O that Petesy!  He can do anything.  He can play the trombone,
slam a golf ball three hundred yards, go to college in Missoura! 
O that Petesy-boy – he can do anything!”
Jackson Snyder, May 20, June 13, 2005, Dedicated to V. A. Snyder

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Jackson Snyder Bible    Search and Study     All Sermons     A poem, “The Beautiful Picture of Yah and His Son

Go directly to the Message    PREVIEW: Adam’s Return by Richard Rohr   V. A. Snyder, 635 E. Lincoln St. 

Richard Roher - Adam's Return
Here is a NEW, literal translation of the prolog to John’s Gospel.  See footnotes for translation notes.  Yochanan-John 1: 1 In beginning was the Logos[1], and the Logos was with the Deity[2], and divine[3] was the Logos. 2 This one[4] was in beginning with the Deity. 3 All came into being through him, and without him not one thing became which had become. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of humanity. 5 And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness seized[5] him not.

   6 A man came into being, sent from deity, namely, Yochanan[6]: 7 this man came as a witness that he might witness about the Light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not that Light; but he came so that he might witness about the light - 9 that the True Light was coming into the world that lights everyone.

   10 He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, yet the world knew him not. 11 To his own he came, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, the ones believing in his name, to them he gave authority to become divine children; 13 who were born not of bloodlines, nor of desire of flesh, nor of desire of a husband[7], but out of deity.

   14 So the Logos became flesh and tented among us, and we beheld his radiance[8], the radiance as of an only-born from a father, full of favor and of truth.

   15 Yochanan witnesses about him and has cried aloud, saying: This was he of whom I said, The one after me has come to be before me since he was my first. 16 Because of his fullness we all have received, even favor in place of favor[9]; 17 for the Torah through Moshe was given; the favor and the truth through Yahshua[10]-Anointed[11] came to be.

   18 Deity has no person never[12] seen; an only-begotten deity, being in the Father’s breast, that event he declared.

 

Psalm 39:23-26

 

Wisdom 9:9. {Solomon prays for Wisdom} With you, O Yah, is Wisdom, she who knows your works, she who was present when you made the world; she understands what is pleasing in your eyes and what agrees with your commandments.  10. Dispatch her from the holy heavens, send her forth from your throne of glory to help me and to toil with me and teach me what is pleasing to you; 11. since she knows and understands everything she will guide me prudently in my actions and will protect me with her glory. 

   12. Then all I do will be acceptable, I shall govern your people justly and be worthy of my father's throne. 13. What human being indeed can know the intentions of Elohim?  And who can comprehend the will of Yahweh?  14. For the reasoning of mortals is inadequate, our attitudes of mind unstable; 15. for a perishable body presses down the soul, and this tent of clay weighs down the mind with its many cares. 

   16. It is hard enough for us to work out what is on earth, laborious to know what lies within our reach; who, then, can discover what is in the heavens?  17. And who could ever have known your will, had you not given Wisdom and sent your holy Spirit from above?  18. Thus have the paths of those on earth been straightened and people have been taught what pleases you, and have been saved, by Wisdom.

 

OR, for Fathers’ Day -

Invitation to the Apocrypha, Daniel Harrington

image003Sirach 44:1-10,13-14. Let us now sing the praises of famous men and women, our ancestors in their generations.   Yahweh apportioned to them great glory, his majesty from the beginning. 

   There were those who ruled in their kingdoms, and made a name for themselves by their valor; those who gave counsel because they were intelligent; those who spoke in prophetic oracles; those who led the people by their counsels and by their knowledge of the people's lore; they were wise in their words of instruction; those who composed musical tunes, or put verses in writing; rich husbands and wives endowed with resources, living peacefully in their homes – all these were honored in their generations, and were the pride of their times.

   Some of them have left behind a name, so that others declare their praise.  But of others there is no memory; they have perished as though they had never existed; they have become as though they had never been born, they and their children after them.  But these also were godly men and women, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten; Their offspring will continue forever, and their glory will never be blotted out.  Their bodies are buried in peace, but their names live on generation after generation.

I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world. The star of my life is Jesus.

In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.


I want to see the brightness of God. I want to look at Jesus.
Clear sun of righteousness, shine on my path, and show me the way to the Father.

I’m looking for the coming of Christ. I want to be with Jesus.
When we have run the patience the race, we shall know the joy of Jesus.

                                         - Kathleen Thomerson, 1966

 

There For You

   In 1989, Armenia was rocked by a devastating earthquake; more than 30,000 people were killed in less than 4 minutes. One father rushed to his son’s school only to find the building collapsed.   Staring at the smoking ruin, father remembered a promise he’d made: “No matter what, I’ll always be there for you!” He stood and wept at the hopelessness of it all, but couldn’t take his mind off that promise. Remembering that his son’s classroom was in a back corner of the building, father rushed there and started digging. The fire fighters on the scene tried to pull him off. “They’re dead! You can’t help now!” But father would only say, “Are you going to help me or not?” and he continued digging, stone by stone. For eight hours he dug, which stretched into twelve, then 24, and then 36.  In the 38th hour of digging, as he pulled back a boulder, he heard his son’s voice. “ARMAND !!” he cried.  A voice answered him, “Dad? It’s me, Dad!”  And as they dug him and his classmates out of the rubble, Armand added these incredible, priceless words: “I told the other kids not to worry. I told ‘em you’d save me and when you saved me, they’d be saved, too.  You promised, Dad. ‘No matter what,’ you said. ‘I’ll always be there fore you!’ And here you are. You kept your promise!”[13]

 

The Prolog and the Song

   I suppose I’ve read the prolog to the Gospel of John a hundred times.  I’ve probably translated it a dozen different ways.  No matter how much I study it, power still “radiates” from it: new and ever-more-brilliant aspects of both Father and Son. 

   This time through, I was struck by the relationship between the Logos and the Logos-giver: perfect parenthood, respectful child-ship.  It’s as though John the Baptist, who was sent from the Father, is the voice of the Father.  He says, “The one after me has come ahead of me since he was my first.  Through his messenger, Yahweh’s saying that the Logos had attained highness without grasping for it, but by virtue of coming to be the only-born of the Heavenly Father, and first-born of many children.  Yes, Yahshua was the Father’s first.

   How Yahshua attained his majesty reminds us again of that ancient hymn the Apostle Paul sang to the Philippians:

Consider the Anointed One, who, existing in a form of deity, didn’t regard equality as something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave: humbled himself, obedient to the death – even a stake’s death. So the Father highly exalted him, and bestowed upon him the name above all, so at the name of Yahshua all might bend a knee, and every tongue profess him Anointed Master and Radiance of the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

   This primeval psalm has proven to be prophecy fulfilled in our time, since the name Yahshua (in the corrupted form “Jesus”) is indeed the name above all others – a name cherished and emulated – a name relied upon by millions – a famous name – a name receiving worship and fomenting rebellion.

 

A Proud Father

   Yahweh Almighty says through his Messenger, “he was after me – but now he’s before me – because he was my first.”  Yahshua was a special offspring – not conceived through human will or through a husband (says the inspired writer) but brought into being through a woman by the good intention and expressed will of the Heavenly Father. 

   No matter how good or successful a father is, there’s no guarantee that the offspring will follow.  No matter how smart the father – there’s no guarantee.  No matter how religious or obedient, an offspring’s behavior can’t be predicted.  Unpredictable, that is, until that son or daughter is tested and tried by life’s difficult circumstances. 

   The earliest sources tell us that when Yahshua was dunked in the Jordan river, a voice from the sky sang the Psalm (2:7), “You are my son; today I have begotten you.”  It took thirty years for the Father to publicly announce his paternity – his son’s mission was too critical to bestow the name before the examination – yet even the thirty-years of testing was but a fraction of a wink to the Eternal Father. 

   So Yahshua in his maturity is singled out to bear the title Anointed; his free will, having been carefully projected by his history, would surely take him in paths of righteousness rather than damnation.  Now, after all, the Father introduces his son to the world in the joy and pride of human fatherhood.  For this is his first-born and only-born child – a son is given to the world; and the government shall rest upon his shoulders.

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and Yahweh Elohim shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:32,33).

If that isn’t an announcement of paternal satisfaction!  Might we go as far as to say that this Father is just plain proud of his boy? 

It would be such a beautiful picture of Yah – proud – holding a son close upon his old heart,

Examining fingers and toes and his soul, exploring each new and near perfect-formed part.

This Father employed the rude pottery wheel to fashion his son to his righteous demand,

And to fire his skin and to sharpen his mind; strong legs, ‘gainst his foes, he was rendered to stand,

With piercing, discerning young eyes and keen ears, designed so that truth might be seen and be heard

And be told with a mouth for the heavenly word: a word that sprouts wings, branches just like a bird.

How proud must the Father have felt all those years, to witness his Son thrive in life and in limb,

So to lead many brothers and sisters and kin to a full-grown maturity, all just like Him.

                                                                      -Jackson Snyder, 2005

A Confident Father

   I’m well-pleased in my Son,” said our Heavenly Father. 

   Some of us grew up with a father figure who, like the Heavenly Father, affirmed our abilities as we stumbled to adulthood.  I was fortunate to have V. A. Pete Snyder for a grandfather.  He was an encourager.  He told everyone how wonderful his children and grandchildren were until they were tired of hearing it.  Grampa Pete often tried to convince us we could to do anything, and many times he extended the means of going forth in a “right-doing” direction. 

V. A. Snyder  Pete Snyder  635 E. Lincoln St.  Findlay, Ohio   That was because my Grampa Pete knew discouragement.  He was raised one of eight children by overworked farm parents in a wretched one-room shack out in the country.  In 1976, at seventy-two, he could retire if he wanted, having spent his life building a better one for his family.  But he didn’t; and that was good for me. 

   I was twenty-three, married, a failure at college, feeling low down, no real prospects.  I hadn’t asked for help, but now I had to ask; I had a newborn. 

   While waiting outside Grampa’s office door, I heard him talking to a real estate agent about my brother Pete.  “O that Petesy!  He can do anything.  He can play the trombone, slam a golf ball three hundred yards, and now he’s going to college in Missoura!  That Petesy-boy – he can do anything!”

   I thought, “And here I am, needing encouragement.  All my golf balls fly about fifty yards straight in the air and end up in the woods!  If I were only Petesy, I wouldn’t be here – I’d be out doing anything!  Anything!”  I turned to leave, but then Grampa shouted, “Jackie, come on in.” 

   With my eyes to the floor, I said, “Grampa, I need help.  I’m starting a little business, but in the meantime, I’m broke.  I don’t even have milk money for the baby.”  Grampa was chewing his gum.  “I thought you were workin’ on the sewer, Jackie.”  I replied, “Yeah, I was, but it’s too dangerous for me.  I quit.”  Grampa was chewing that gum.  “That’s no place for someone as smart as you, Jackie; Awww!  Don’t worry about it!”  I said, “A bad job’s better than no job.”  But he said, “Just forget it – you don’t belong in the sewer anyway.”

   The real estate agent was still outside the door.  “Marv!  Come in here a minute.” Marv came back in.  Grampa Pete said, “Marv, Jackie needs a good job.  He’s mowed my yard for fifteen years and painted my house; he can really play the TUBA; you oughta hear him!  Marv, you gotta job for ‘im, don’t ya?”  I was really embarrassed, but felt better; somebody didn’t see me for what I couldn’t do, but for what I could, based on what I’d done.

   Marv said, “Well, yeah, Jackie.  I need a couple fellows who’ll work hard without supervision.”  I was happy to hear that.  Instead of a handout, someone believed that this young man could be trusted to work independently.  Before I left, Grampa stuffed a bill in my jacket pocket.  “This’ll hold ya over till payday,” he said.  Then he said, “Look in my eyes.  Don’t let me down now, Jackie!”  How could I?

   A little confidence, like a little encouragement, goes a long, long way.  The prophet tells us the Heavenly Father had confidence in his son even before he was born.  The son appreciated that confidence, and acted accordingly.  He’d die rather than let Father down.  At the very heart of our text is confidence.  To as many as received him, believing in his name, he gave authority to become divine children.  That includes you and I, friend – divine children.  Now that’s real encouragement!  He has confidence IN YOU AND ME that he’s not bashful about making public.  Now doesn’t that give you confidence?  Amen?  Doesn’t that make you want to be an encourager?

 

A Reliable Father

   To become a divine child takes an act of faith – we trust that he’s made it so.  We’re reborn!  Our reliance upon Father is evident in our prayers, as we mostly ask favors.  And we’ve received whatever we’ve needed when we’ve trusted in his providence and favor.  Father is reliable. 

   Consider what David says about his Father’s reliability in

Psalms 37:23-26. Yahweh guides a strong man’s steps and keeps them firm; and takes pleasure in him.  When he trips he is not thrown sprawling, since Yahweh supports him by the hand.  Now I am old, but ever since my youth I never saw an upright person abandoned, or the descendants of the upright forced to beg their bread. (NJB)

   One fellow from church told me about his father.  He also started poor, during the Great Depression.  There were few jobs.  This fellow’s father had a job, but it was a wretched-hard labor with long hours – like slavery.  He earned only enough to feed the family.  “In hard times,” the fellow told me, “a bad job’s better’n no job.”  He watched his father come home every night spent – he’d fall asleep on the worn-out couch.  Then every morning early, the boy watched his father get ready for work again.  He’d shave with a straight razor – then drink a pint of gin.

   “What do you think of that?” the fellow baited me.  I believe he wanted to find out if I was in the Temperance Union.  I didn’t know what to say.  I asked him, “What do you think of that?”  He said, “Daddy never missed a day’s work; his days were long and hard – and he did whatever he needed to get through.  He never complained.  Why?  Because he had a job.  There was food on the table every day.  Maybe that drink got him through.  I never doubted his reliability.”

   This testimony described to me a father who wasn’t perfect, but who had responsibility then actually took responsibility.  “There was food on the table every day!”  When he said that, I could tell how this fellow still felt about his Daddy, though he’d long since departed.  He respected him!  For, despite appearances, despite poverty, despite the economy, he proved reliable in the worst of times.  And that boy, now retired himself, has demonstrated a lifetime of responsible living on behalf of those whom the Heavenly Father has entrusted him.

   It’s hard to find reliability in affluent fathers, much less in poor.  However, if a flawed man can assume full responsibility for what’s come to be through him, how much more might a perfect man be reliable for you, his child, even in the hardest of times?

 

Being Reliable Children

   Though Yahshua was the first-born of a proud father, he wasn’t to be the last-born.  Paul tells us, “Those Yahweh foreknew, he also fore-appointed to be formed to the image of His Son, that he might be first of many brothers” (and I might add, “sisters”) (Romans 8:29).  Paul’s nemesis, James, affirms this by adding, “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights.”  Our gospel text explains that Yahshua was the radiance of the Almighty and the light of humanity.  Now we know that the Heavenly Father is full of lights, and sons and daughters are begotten of light. 

    James continues, “Of his own free will he brought us into being by the Word of truth, the first fruits of his creatures” (James 1:17,18).  Yahshua’s own brother declares the privilege we have as the family of the Heavenly Father.  It also yokes us with tremendous responsibility – as offspring of lights, we’re to shine forth; it’s in our new nature to shine. 

   As I was preparing this message, a dear lady called to say her middle-aged son was visiting, fixing things around the house.  Inspired by the Gospel, I said, “You must be proud of a son that helps out like that.”  She told me, “He wouldn’t be much of a son if he didn’t!”  And she was right; many sons are dark stars.

   As the darkness isn’t able to seize the True Light, our light shan’t fade so long as we abide in our Big Brother and do as he does.  No one’s able to ignore the light in the dark that is you.  So let yourself shine.  Let yourself shine.  It’s your new nature as the newly begotten of a proud father – an offshoot of divine light.  And let the darkness scatter when you alight!

 

She Saw the Light

   Yes, the light shines in darkness even when folks don’t realize it.  Ignorance of light is what Scripture means by “darkness.” 

   Consider the hospital nurse – she escorts a sad young fellow to the bedside of a dying man.  “Your son’s here,” she whispers several times until the man’s eyes open.  He dimly sees the youth through the haze of his last morphine injection.  The dying man reaches out a little, and the younger squeezes his hand, conveying encouragement. The nurse brings a chair.  He thinks, Why, this is what Jesus would do.”

  All night the youth holds that frail hand, offering hopeful prayers and words.  The man dying says nothing; an occasional squeeze makes it clear he knows his son’s near.  The morning comes; the patient dies quietly.  The youth places the lifeless hand back upon the bed and fetches the nurse, who’s also spent the night at duty.  While she tarries with the body, the youth waits.  When she’s finished, she offers her condolences for the loss of a father.  But the young man interrupts her.

   “Nurse, just who was that man?”  The nurse replies, “I thought he was your father!”  The visitor answers, “No, I never saw him before.”  The nurse asks again, “Then why didn’t you say something when I took you in last night?”  The young man slowly explains, “I guess I knew he needed his boy, but his boy wasn’t around.  It seems Jesus sent me instead; for he needed me.  And in some way I can’t explain, I needed him, too.” 

Now your children can learn Hebrew



[1] logos means word.  This Logos should be capitalized because it is the title of a divine entity known in literature from as early as the 5th century BC.

[2] ton theon, from theos to L. deus to E. “Deity” – here capitalized for the  article “the,” which speaks of the Almighty One of Israel.  deity:  Middle English deite, from Old French, from Late Latin deits, divine nature: any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force. WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University.  This word and its article correspond and can be substituted with the Hebrew ‘elohim.

[3] theos – using the traditional schema, we would translate this as “a god” for lack of a definite article.  divine: Having the nature of or being a deity. Of, relating to, emanating from, or being the expression of a deity: sought divine guidance through meditation. Being in the service or worship of a deity; sacred. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.  This word corresponds and can be substituted with the Hebrew ‘elohim.

[4] Italicized words are implied in the text.

[5] katalaben means both “overcame” and “seized” (in the sense of comprehending).  The author is employing a play on words in the passage.

[6] Yochanan we know as John.

[7] andros means man or husband.  The context requires husband be supplied.

[8] doxan, doxa is traditionally translated glory; i.e. “radiance from emitting from a powerful source” – comparable to the shekinah-glory of the Hebrew scriptures.

[9] charin anti charitos: charis is traditionally rendered grace; anti is traditionally rendered upon, or grace upon grace.  I prefer favor, a less contaminated term.  anti means in place of or up against (as in antichrist).  In this case, and in the spirit of the entire gospel, the interpretation is probably the favor of Yahshua-Jesus in the place of the favor of Moshe-Moses.

[10] Yahshua we know as Jesus.  Since the writer accords such prominence and power to the name, only the Hebrew transliteration of the name is appropriate.  Yahshua mean Salvation of Yahweh.

[11] Anointed is the English translation of Greek title christos, traditionally left untranslated in English as Christ, as though it were a name.

[12] oudeis .. pðtote: no one .. never – a double negative employed to emphasize the point.

[13] Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul.