3/28/2023 (Tuesday) Today’s gospel reading: John 8:21-30
21 Jesus said to the Pharisees: “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.”
22 So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”
23 He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world.
24 That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”
25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.
26 I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.”
27 They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
28 So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.
29 The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.”
30 Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.
3/28/2023 (Tuesday) Today’s gospel reflection: John 8:21-30
In the gospel reading above, we see a continuing effort by Jesus to reveal His identity. He is claiming in clear language that He is the I AM who is in the beginning (John 1:1), the Son of Man in reference to Daniel 7:13-14, and that He is not of this world for He comes from above. Actually He kept on revealing Himself even at the beginning of His mission but many Jews either do not really understand or they refuse to understand. So they ask, “Who are you?”.
The Jews have been waiting for the promised Messiah but when He came, they did not recognize Him or they refused to recognized Him. That is why, in verse 21, Jesus told the Pharisees that they will seek Him but they will die in their sin. This means that they will continue to wait for the Messiah but there is no other Messiah but Jesus alone. This mean they will seek and wait in vain. In the meantime, they can not go to where Jesus is going which is His Father. This is because they belong to this world whereas Jesus is from above. To belong to this world means to live in sin, that is, to live in darkness. Furthermore, to refuse to believe in Jesus means to reject His commandments and teachings which is all about repentance and turning away from sin. Indeed no one can go the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
To believe in Jesus means to live a life pleasing to God. In verse 29, Jesus said that God has not left Him alone. He Himself gave the reason. He live in such a way as to always please God – by being obedient to His Will, always doing good, and giving Himself for ransom of many (Mark 10:45).
This is the challenge that many people fails to do: to believe that Jesus is the I Am, the Son of Man, the Messiah, the savior who came from above. By failing to believe, they condemn themselves to death in sin.