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March 27, 2012 is the Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent. The reading is from Gospel of John 8:21-30

He said to them again, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.”

So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”

He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”

So they said to him, “Who are you?”

Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.”

They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.

So Jesus said (to them), “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.”

Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

In today’s gospel reading Jesus once again stresses that he is his Father’s Ambassador – God’s Messiah; and the Father whose ambassador he is is with him.

In today’s gospel reading

He said to them again, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” (John 8:21)

is similar to these two following verses, also in John,

  • You will look for me but not find [me], and where I am you cannot come.” (John 7:34)
  • My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you. (John 13:33)

“You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. (John 8:23)

bear similarity to the following three verses, also in John,

  • he one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven [is above all]. (John 3:31)
  • I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. (John 17:14)
  • Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants [would] be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” (John 18:36)

That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

Parallels can be found in the following 3 verses in the Old Testament:

  • God replied to Moses: I am who I am. Then he added: This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you. (Exodus 3:14)
  • See now that I, I alone, am he,
    and there is no god besides me.
    It is I who bring both death and life,
    I who inflict wounds and heal them,
    and from my hand no one can deliver. (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  • You are my witnesses—oracle of the LORD—
    my servant whom I have chosen
    To know and believe in me
    and understand that I am he.
    Before me no god was formed,
    and after me there shall be none. (Isaiah 43:10)

So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning. (John 8:25)

is similar to

  • So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” (John 10:24)

I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.” (John 8:26)

is an abbreviated form of the following passage:

  • Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me.” (John 12:44-50)
  • And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up. (John 3:14)
  • And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (John 12:32)
  • So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. Then how can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” (John 12:34)
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