Sunday 13th February 2022

Reading: John 8:12-20

Reflection

Last week when we were looking at the ‘I am the Bread of Life’ saying we focused on it being a seal and how this seal throughout Jesus life was God the Father affirming who he was and in a wider context looking at how seals have been used throughout history as a way of telling others who you are and what you may believe or take as truth and how putting your seal on something cemented your integrity into that decision. You may remember a few weeks ago when we looked at Nicodemus meeting with Jesus and how that compared with Jesus meeting with the Samaritan lady at the well. I said that later in the Gospel Nicodemus would stand up and speak out for Jesus, this happened in the chapter prior to our reading this morning. Jesus is being challenged about where his teaching comes from. The challenges are being levied against him and the question asked, ‘Is he, this Jesus, the Christ?’ They question the lack of miraculous signs he has shown them, stating that the real Christ will do many more than this man. Jesus continues to tell them they know from where he has come from. He is not on his own but the one who sent him is with him. And so the people are divided in their understanding of Jesus. All of this is relayed to the Pharisees, ‘Has any Pharisee believed in him?’ they ask. ‘No’ they answer the question themselves. It is then that Nicodemus speaks out for Jesus. Nicodemus, one of those Pharisees, ‘surely our law allows a man to be heard before being condemned. Surely we should find out what it is he is doing’. All of this toing and froing as they argue over, ‘Who is this Jesus?’ ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’. It is not about daylight hours and night time darkness. This is about the light of our souls. This is about the darkness of sin. Of course those great lights of the sky, the sun by day and the moon by night are there whether we look to them or not. Astronomers study the lights in the heavens and map out what our universe looks like. If we close our eyes those lights do not go away it is just that we have chosen not to look at them. Jesus is taking this into the realms of our Spirit. He is there whether people are looking for him or not. He was there with the father when these lights were put into our skies. People may choose to close their eyes or turn their back and even choose not to believe anything of his teaching. He is still there. In the challenge from the Pharisees in our reading this morning Jesus takes everything one step further. He tells them, the religious leaders who hold all the legal rights over the people, they do not know where he has come from, they do not know where he is going. He stands before them with his father by his side. He tells them it is in their own law that testimony of two men is valid. He testifies for himself but it is the Father who is his witness. These Pharisees, who should know better as students of the laws and the scriptures, are dealing only on judgements that are made by human standards. They are being driven only by what their eyes can see. They are spiritually blind. The whole issue is all about the things we have visited in previous services. It’s about the integrity of Jesus. You appear as your own witness your testimony is not valid. They obviously don’t go along with ‘my word is my bond’. It’s about the seal of the Father upon his Son, ‘if you knew me you would know my Father’. Toward the end of this whole questioning Jesus says to them. ‘when you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am.’ It’s about Jesus being the word made flesh, in his closing remarks he states, ‘I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.’ It’s about Jesus being God incarnate, ‘the one who sent me is with me.’ In the eyes of the crowd prior to this engagement, and in this confrontation with the Pharisees the people are looking at Jesus and they are seeing a man who is alone. Their spiritual eyes could not see that God the Father was with him. They could not perceive that Jesus did nothing on his own without the Father. The damning truth, as far as the Pharisees are concerned, is highlighted in the closing couple of verses. Old Testament law requires two men to validate a testimony. Surely God the Father and God the Son is validation enough. The Father is the witness and they do not know who the Father is. The reply that cuts through all and any doubt is delivered by Jesus. ‘If you knew me, you would know my Father also.’ The consistency of that eternal message from Jesus. The living water, never to go thirsty; the bread of life, never to go hungry; the light of the world, never to walk in darkness.

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