When Jesus spoke to crowds, it was interactive: they asked questions. Many of the things the crowd said were things which we would say today if we heard Jesus speak. So when Jesus answers them, he is often answering us, and things become clearer after the cross…
17 “In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”
“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
21 Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”
22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”
23 But he continued, “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; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”
28 So Jesus 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 but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.
Jesus’ relationship with the Father was a mystery to them, and notice he calls him the Father and my Father. Jesus’ Father is the Father of the universe, yet they believe he is talking about Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. The key truth when it comes to the Father-Son relationship here is Jesus said if you know Jesus you know the Father.
This idea is akin to the idea that the work and teachings of Jesus are the work and teachings of the Father. They are inseparable. Later in John 14 we will see Jesus deal with this teaching again with his own disciples. It is very difficult for the people to understand that a man from Nazareth could be one with the Father of eternity.
It doesn’t help that he tells them if they don’t believe it they will die in their sins. That’s a real draw, Jesus. Love-em-to-the-Lord… He finally tells them how it will become clear for them – after the cross it will make sense, and they will see that he is one with the Father and that he didn’t do anything apart from the Father on earth.
How true that in the light of the cross, our understanding of everything changes.
Looking back on Easter weekend, our understanding of the message of Jesus and our acceptance of his teaching changes when we understand that he suffered willingly for us, died willingly for us, and rose again triumphantly for us.
And 1Corinthians 15 teaches us that if Jesus did not rise, then we are still dead in our sins… Apart from Jesus’ words being true, dying in our sins is our destiny.
Praise be to the Father,
For the work through the Son,
To change our destiny.