John 8: 51-59
The gospel of today in John 8: 51-59 was a very long dialogue between Jesus and the Jews. While dialoguing with the Jews. Jesus tells them that if they truly keep His word, they will never see death. He says to them, “I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
In the gospel, John 8: 51-59, The Jews were astounded at this because they see Jesus as one of their kinsmen, so how come keeping His words will make someone not taste death.
So, Instead of accepting what Jesus said, they said that from what He said, It is now certain that Jesus must be possessed.
Remember that in Matthew 12:22-37, they accused Jesus of working with the power of the Belzebub, the prince of demons. Now for Jesus to say that His words will prevent people from death sounds to the Jews as the words of a person who is possessed.
So, in the gospel, John 8: 51-59, They asked Jesus that Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet He says, “Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death.”
They ask Jesus “Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?’
Imagine how astounded everyone must have been at Jesus’ words. Never see death? What was Jesus thinking? Everyone on earth understood that in the future, they would die. This was the natural course of life!
Naturally, the Jews thought Jesus was crazy.
In essence, they ask, Did he truly believe that He would not die?
Did Jesus think that He was greater than Abraham or the prophets? Did Jesus that the all of the prophets, though they might be great, yet they died. Why did Jesus think He was different?
But Jesus continues to tell them of His identity yet their hearts were closed. The Jews even thought that Jesus was crazy when Jesus said before Abraham, He was. And the Jews began to gather stones to throw at Jesus!
So, Put yourself in the Jews’ shoes. If anyone said to you what Jesus said to the Jews, would you believe them? Or would you think they were delusional and perhaps had gone off their rocker?
There fore the point here is that when we do not know who a person is, we will not understand what the person does. We may even misunderstand what the person says.
Therefore, because the Jews could not know who Jesus is, they misunderstand Him and even fight Him because of what He said. When we also fail to know who Jesus is to us, we will always misunderstand Him.
In essence when we do not truly know God, we ill we will always misunderstand God even when He means good for us.
The Closed Heart.
If you are a jew in the time of Jesus, we would not believe too. We may even do more than them.
Most likely, we would think the Jews were crazy or fanatical. After all, to the Jews, Jesus simply was another itinerant preacher. Why should they think that Jesus was above the norm of preachers?
Clearly, the hearts of the Jews were closed to Jesus. True, they didn’t believe Him.
This is exactly what happens when we do not truly understand what we worship.
We might be going to church with minds closed to the gospel. Yet, We choose what to believe and what not to believe.
For us, there are things Jesus said that are not practical and thereby not possible. We tend to close our hearts to them. At some point, we doubt everything. A close heart can never accept the truth. Let us open our hearts to God’s word.
Let us Examine.
Today might be a good day for us to examine our hearts. Like the Jews, Do we have places in our hearts and minds that we have closed to Jesus?
Therefore, Sometimes we go to church only to listen to the word of God. Some of us select the ones to do and leave others.
What do we believe about Him? Why are we Christians? Just to attend mass, programs, liturgical services? etc.
Therefore, we have closed our hearts to Jesus because we do not understand Him.
How long should we simply take Him for granted? Today I invite you to stop and reflect on who Jesus is to you at this time in your life.
May God help us and give us the grace to continually come close to Him. May He never allow you to stumble Amen