Reading: “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. John 8:25.
Good morning, Happy Tuesday, and many blessings my dear family.
In today’s Gospel (John 8:21-30) Jesus continues his interaction with the Pharisees by telling the Pharisees that he will be going away. Jesus must have stunned them when he tells them that they will die in their sin. Ask yourself: how would you react if someone told you that? Jesus follows that blunt statement by telling them that where he is going, they will not be able to go.
His listeners did not have any understanding of what Jesus meant. They were taking his words literally and thus they did not make any sense. Then Jesus continues by telling them that if they do not believe that he truly is “I AM,” they will die in their sinfulness. They must have been stunned by Jesus’ words. After all, they were the “holy ones.” They ran the Temple and ruled most of the people! Who did Jesus think he was?
However Jesus recognizes that the people will come to truth in their own time, he speaks to them about what is yet to become clear to them. I take time in my prayer to sit with Jesus, asking for the patience and trust I need to let truth be revealed.
The question at the heart of this text is ‘Who are you?’ His hearers were either unable or unwilling to understand his teaching up to this point. Jesus is still revealing his identity, but he is also exploring the identity of those he is addressing.
We cannot come to a knowledge of Christ without first of all understanding the truth of who he is, and secondly, the truth of who we are. If do not know who Christ is, we will not value him. If we do not recognize who we are, we will not grasp the greatness of our need. But when the two truths are grasped simultaneously, we see the glory of God in Christ Jesus, and we understand that he is the only answer to our enormous need.
When Jesus told them that he was “I AM,” did they have any understanding of what he was saying? Do we truly have any understanding of what Jesus was saying? Do we take time to ponder his words? How do I know the people I love? It is not by reading about them, consulting reports or fixing on any single memory. Relationships develop through time being spent, in the sharing of desires, through loving and listening. Lent is an invitation to a deeper relationship with Jesus.