Tuesday after Cantate
Scripture: St. John 8:21-29 (NKJV)
8:21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”
22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?”
23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”
And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”
27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. 28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
Christ speaks of His earthly mission in this text, continuing the discussion that was started with the Pharisees at the Temple in yesterday’s meditation. Today the Lord’s confession of Himself intensifies as the focus tightens on His sacrificial death as the Lamb of God who atones for the sins of the world. The mission of the Son is to save the world, not to condemn it (John 3:17); yet, when God’s saving intent collides with man’s unbelief, judgment will be the result. Jesus can therefore say of Himself, “I judge no one” (John 8:15), and with equal truth, “For judgment I have come into this world” (John 9:39). One statement cannot be truly understood without the other (Law and Gospel) as they complement and interpret each other (Scripture interprets Scripture). This reality is presented by contrasting the stark difference between the eternal destiny of those who believe in Jesus as the Christ and those who do not believe His testimony of Himself as the promised Messiah.
Jesus points to several conflicts or contradictions between the home of His adversaries and His home, as well as His destiny and theirs. He also continues yesterday’s theme of His will always being in harmony with His Father’s will. He concludes today’s text by prophesying that the Jews will not understand His true identity and the ultimate source of His words until after He has been lifted up (crucified) by them.
We pray: O Lord, grant us faith so we may cling only to You and Your Word and persevere unto glory through Your grace. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.