|LIGHT OF THE WORLD|
"I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
How we marvel at the beauty, the glorious beauty of these words!Revelation!!
But there remained in the crowd proud Pharisees, hearts and minds shut firm against the Truth.
"You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true!"
They challenged Truth Himself! Now the drama will unfold !
Jesus responds :
"Even if I do bear witness to Myself, My testimony is true, for I know whence I have come, and whither I am going, but you do not know whence I have come, or whither I am going. You judge according to the flesh, I judge no-one. Yet even if I do judge, My judgement is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and He Who sent Me."
Jesus, knows their hearts and minds, their dishonesty and hypocrisy. Now He will confront them even more clearly with the Truth and in unavoidable starkness.
"In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true; I bear witness to Myself and the Father Who sent Me, bears witness to Me."
|"Where is your Father?"|
"Where is your Father?"
There is perhaps in this question a note of derision or sneering .
But Jesus will have none of their posturing, this is to be the crucial confrontation :
"You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me , you would know My Father also."
They had the knowledge and understanding to receive the Truth, they knew His miraculous works, but, in their hypocrisy chose to ignore the miracles and seized upon the Sabbath laws.They would convict God of working Miracles of Love on His own Sabbath!
All of this was taking place in the Treasury area of the Temple , but in God's Providence, because His hour had not yet come, they did not arrest Him.
Their lack of integrity became ever more patent as the exchange went on. They were determined to avoid the Truth which would bring their whole power structure and privilege crashing around their ears . That was what they saw as important - the status quo - not the Revelation of the Anointed One of God - the Messiah!
Jesus said to them : "I go away, and you will seek Me and die in your sin; where I am going , you cannot come."
But they will not even be honest with each other and begin to ask one another "Will he kill himself, since he says , where I am going you cannot come?"
|Scribe and Pharisees - not even honest with each other.|
"You are from below, I am from above ; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you you would die in your sins , for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am He."
Self deceiving hypocrites that they are, they persist in ignoring the Truth they know, in their quest to have Him say plainly something they can use to prosecute Him. "Who are you?" they feign ignorance as they ask.
Now they will get far more than they can so glibly handle:
"Even what I have told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you, and much to judge; but He Who sent Me is true , and I declare to the world what I have heard from Him."
Even now they did not understand that He spoke of the Father. So He said :
"When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing on My Own Authority but speak thus as the Father taught Me. And He Who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to Him."
Saint John tells us, that even as He spoke , many of His listeners came to believe in Him. But the Pharisees would not.
Turning to those He knew now believed in Him Jesus said :
"If you continue in My word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free."
But , even now, the Jews challenged Him : "We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How is it you say , "You will be made free"?".
Jesus pierces their humbug :
"Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin, is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house forever; the son continues forever. So, if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.I know that you are descendants of Abraham ; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with My Father , and you do what you have heard from your father."
Not realising how clearly they had been read, they proudly assert : "Abraham is our Father".
With every response they dig themselves deeper into the pit.
Jesus said to them:
"If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did, but now you seek to kill Me, a man Who has told the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. You do what your father did."
They see Our Lord is putting them apart from Abraham, and resenting this, they clamber for the high ground, feigning indignation : "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God." Jesus now takes them to the heart of their guilt :
" If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded and came forth from God ; I came not of my own accord, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires.He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he lies , he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God."
From the very mouth of God - what a condemnation!
There are still to-day those who harden their hearts against the Word of God, and against the invitation to be and become members of His Mystical Body - the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Despite the Divine rejoinder there are Jewish folk who still rest only on their Father Abraham.They glory in that past, as well they might - but past it is - 2,000 years past . In the spirit of those distant Pharisees they string wires on telegraph poles in some suburbs to define where one might walk on the Sabbath !If only they would accept the Truth which will set them free.
But it is the Devil himself who hardens their hearts and has imprisoned them in man-made rules , separating them from the Love and the Grace of God and the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ - God made Man for the redemption of all men of Faith in Him.