Tuesday 12 April 2011

Bible Book:

"They said to him, 'Who are you?'" (v. 25)

John 8:21-30 Tuesday 12 April 2011


John's Gospel offers insights into the question asked by many ofthose who encounter or challenge Jesus: "Who are you?" (John1:19; 8:25). This question is addressed not only toJesus but to his followers and community too.

Many are attracted by his appeal and "believed in him" (verse 30)while others are repelled by him and "picked up stones to throw athim" (John 8:59).

(Chapter 8 opens with the story where men came to stone a woman. Itcloses with the words that the one who stopped a woman being stonedis threatened with possibly with those very stones brought to hurlat the woman.)

(Chapter 8 verses 12-59 includes somestraight talking between the followers of Jesus ("the Jews who hadbelieved in him" (verse 31)) and those who are simply referred toas "the Jews", the predominant Jewish community. The dialoguebetween them is undiluted, with no compromise statement of theirown positions.

In today's passage Jesus' followers says to their critics: "Where[we] are going, you cannot come" (verse 21) and "You will die inyour sins unless you believe" that Jesus is he (verse 24).

The replies are recorded with typical Johannine irony yearning forfurther clarity: "Is he going to kill himself? Is this what hemeans by saying, 'where I am going you cannot come'?" (verse 23)The Gospel reflects "they did not understand" (verse 27).

It seems that both sides have difficulty understanding or acceptingeach other.

Dialogue requires deeper listening and "right judgement" (John7:24).

To Ponder

If someone asked you: "Who is Jesus?", what wouldyou say?

Who are the people you have difficultyunderstanding or accepting?

What can you do to listen deeper with "rightjudgement"?

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