Daily Readings in John – Day Twenty-Seven
November 3, 2017
John 8:12-8:30 (NRSV)
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. 18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.” 19 Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
21 Again he said to them, “I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 Then the Jews said, “Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” 25 They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Why do I speak to you at all? 26 I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
I am the light of the world.
I am going away…. where I am going…
I am from above…. I am not of this world….
…unless you believe that I am… you will realize that I am.
I am, I am, I am.
It’s almost like poetry and it’s absolutely unsubtle.
Jesus shares the name of his Dad – the Creator God, known to their ancestors by the breath-like Hebrew name of Yahweh, the “I am.”
Jesus is the ground of all being, the center of all existence, the illumination of all things, in all times.
Unlike his opponents, he doesn’t judge, even though he could. He says instead look at me, follow, and listen.
Instead of trying to understand Jesus today, instead of asking questions about why he said what he said, instead of wondering if all the things the Bible say about him are exactly as they report, imagine Jesus as the fixed point around which you rotate, the gravity that holds you, or simply – as he says – the light of the world.