Jesus is once again in the temple teaching. John puts Him in the treasury, which was near the court of the women. This way ALL can hear His message. Hear but not understand.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (verse 12). Jesus is making a blanket offer to any who would believe the truth. It is also a very compelling offer. Jesus is offering a way out of darkness (sin and sinful ways) and a way into eternal life. I don’t know if those listening understood His offer fully, John tells us that some did believe that day.
Of course “everybody’s favorite nay-sayers” were about during Jesus teaching. The Pharisees were again trying to turn the hearts of the people away from Jesus. “You are just bragging on Yourself. Tooting Your own horn. We don’t have any proof of what You are claiming. How do we know You aren’t lying to us? Nothing You say would hold up in court!”
“I intimately know what and Whom I’m talking about. You don’t even have a clue about the truth I’m speaking of. You are so bound up in your little lives you can’t see beyond your own noses. If you would actually open your eyes you would see that my Father even speaks of me and my mission. He will vouch for Me anytime.”
“Ok, bring Your Father here so we can ask Him for ourselves.”
“You once knew Him but you have strayed so far from Him that you aren’t even listening to Him anymore. If you were listening to Him then you would know Me too. You know neither of us.”
The Pharisees were so out of their depth when it came to arguing with Jesus. He always put them to shame. They tried everything they could to discredit Jesus and they failed miserably. In doing so they were also sealing their future.
Jesus words to them about not being able to go where He is cuts to the quick to anyone who was really listening. He just told them that they were not getting into Heaven with Him and the Father. If the religious leaders understood what they were trading for, they would have dropped to their knees right then and there. But they didn’t understand. I’m certain most of that not knowing was willful blindness.
I think my favorite passage in our reading today is: “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He you will die in your sins. So they said to Him, ‘Who are You?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Just what I have been telling you from the beginning” (verses 24-25). Haven’t they been listing to Him at all? He just finished telling them He was “the light of the world.” He also said on MORE than one occasion that He was “the Son of Man.”
They KNOW who He claims to be. If they would read their scripture they would know who He IS. But they don’t want to believe Him. He doesn’t fit their preconceived notions of who the Christ would be. Jesus wasn’t about to try and fit into their mold. He only worked to fit into the Father’s mold. “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (verse 29).
The religious leaders individually and corporately missed so much by refusing to believe Jesus’ words AND the Father’s words. They would die in their sin and be forever separated from God, the one they claimed to have dedicated their lives to. THAT is something to mourn over.
Father God, thank You for my parents who showed me Your truths at an early age. Thank You for providing proof for Your words. Thank You that You are EXACTLY Who and what You claim to be. Thank You for Jesus! Thank You for making a way for me to spend eternity with You. For being willing to answer my every question; here and there. Thank You for making a way for me to walk in Your light. I’m listening!