MARCH 23. LENT. WK 5. TUE. JN. 8. 21-30
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
‘I am going away;
you will look for me
and you will die in your sin.
Where I am going, you cannot come.’
The Jews said to one another, ‘Will he kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, “Where I am going, you cannot come”?’ Jesus went on:
‘You are from below; I am from above.
You are of this world; I am not of this world.
I have told you already:
You will die in your sins.
Yes, if you do not believe that I am He,
you will die in your sins.’
So they said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus answered:
‘What I have told you from the outset.
About you I have much to say
and much to condemn;
but the one who sent me is truthful,
and what I have learnt from him
I declare to the world.’
They failed to understand that he was talking to them about the Father. So Jesus said:
‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man,
then you will know that I am He
and that I do nothing of myself:
what the Father has taught me is what I preach;
he who sent me is with me,
and has not left me to myself,
for I always do what pleases him.’
As he was saying this, many came to believe in him.
With his Passion and Death fast approaching Christ is clearly preparing his followers for what was to come by pointing out a number of fundamental truths he wanted them to be aware of.
“I am going away!” – “You will look for me!” – “where I am going, you cannot come!” – “You are from below, I am from above!” – “You are of this world – I am not of this world!” – “If you do not believe in me; - you will die in your sins!” .
These are all very practical points given what Christ knew they were about to witness, and they remain practical truths for us even today, where it is easy to forget Christ is in a place where we cannot see or experience his presence, but he wants us to follow the teachings he left us while he was with us!
What this is highlighting is the need for his followers to continue to have Faith after he has been crucified, and has departed this world to be with the Father, and he makes the point; - “What the Father has taught me is what I preach”
What this means today, on the practical level, is the need to seriously ponder, continuously, the Gospel teachings; - “If you do not believe in me; - you will die in your sins!”