“Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come.” But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.” John 8:21-27
Jesus continues His dialogue with the crowds and the religious leaders (Pharisees).
In yesterday’s devotion Jesus told the same people, but especially the leaders that the Father testified on His behalf that He, Jesus was the Light of the World–the Messiah. The unbelieving religious leaders argued with Him, asking “Where is your Father”? (vs 19–notice YOUR, not OUR Father, wishing not to identify with Jesus.) So now, He’s saying He’s “going away and where He goes they cannot follow” (vs 21), refering to the coming cross, His resurrection from the dead and returning to the Heavenly Father for glorification) Again they begin to grumble among themselves, “where’s He going that we cant go or find Him? Will He kill Himself”? (vs 22) Now suicide was taboo in the Jewish faith. Certain eternal separation or “hell” was certain to follow, for they believed suicide was murder. But Jesus answered this question with, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” (vs 23-24) Jesus answers by saying in effect that “we’re comparing apples and oranges”.
In other words, we’re not talking about the same thing! “You are from below (earth)–I Am from Above (Heaven). You’re of this world. I am not of this world”(vs 23) I’m talking about Who I Am (Messiah) and where that I’ve come from (Heaven)–you’re talking about following a mere man! Worse yet, Jesus says, “YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR SINS if you do not believe that I Am He (Messiah), you will indeed die in your sins”
(vs 24). The fact Jesus says this statement twice makes it emphatic- anytime something is repeated twice in biblical literature – it’s really important!
Jesus is telling them, you’re missing My point – the Focal Point of all the Bible is standing in front of you and you are debating whether or not He is talking about suicide! Really?!?
In vs 25, the religious leaders respond again by asking, “who are you?” Jesus says, “just Who and what I’ve been telling you from the beginning–I have hidden nothing. I have come from the Father and He will judge you for missing my coming” (my paraphrase).
Their response is one of the sadest in St John’s book and is sadly, reflective of many of our responses to Jesus. In vs 27 it says, “They did not understand that He was telling them about His Father.” In other words, they didn’t understand that He was really telling them that He was God’s Son.
Just like the Pharasees, many of us have our own notions of Who Jesus is or was. Some see Him as a baby in a manger or an emblem on a cross. Others see Him as a friend or even a “get out of jail (hell) for free card”, like in the game “Monopoly”. Some even see Him as a good man, a prophet or a founder of a great religion. Sadly, until we acknowlege Him as the “only Begotten Son” of God, Who was sent as God’s Gift to mankind, to save us from our sin (John 3:16), we’ll never experience Him as the our Savoir!
Jesus was and is God! He came to rescue us from sin and the curse of sin. Recieve Him, the Gift of God, that is eternal life. (Rom 6:23)
Think about it!