Saturday, June 10
Jesus was blunt and scathing in his denunciation of the Jews (John 8:23). “You are from this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” That would touch a raw nerve with the Jews. They thought they were God’s people by being descendants of Abraham, and would be incensed with the idea that they were bound for hell. They again questioned Jesus’ claim that he was from heaven and that their God was his Father. Yes, they were hypocrites and a brood of vipers, but they were also blind. Jesus acknowledges that in vv. 27-28. “They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be . . .’” This obviously refers to the cross, but, ironically, his knowledge of future events is evidence that he was the Son of God, the very thing that blinded the eyes of the Jews. But Jesus wasn’t wasting his breath here. The prophecy was fulfilled. The cross, followed by the resurrection, brought thousands of previously unbelieving Jews to a saving faith. The very ones that shouted “crucify him” became the nucleus of the Church. Jesus knew what he was doing. His teaching ministry was not a failure. He healed people who were physically blind, but he also healed many people who were spiritually blind, a far greater feat, as monumental as the difference between this physical life and eternity.