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John 8:21-30, Jesus Foretells His Death

Wednesday, February 28

Why do I speak to you at all?!

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from Clergy Stuff.


Nowhere do we read the (divine) comedy of the Gospel of John more clearly than we do in verse 25b:

"Why do I speak to you at all?"

The people haven't a clue who Jesus really is, nor do they understand that he isn't about to take his own life!

Another verse from this passage, however, often gets overlooked:

"[A]nd the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone . . ."

In John's Gospel, Jesus portrays himself as being one with the Father. Jesus claims, without reservation, that he is God and that God is in him and works through him. What's strange is that he does not ever once simply claim "I am God." I've always wondered why?

Why speak in riddles?

I believe the reason why Jesus does this is because God is naturally never forcing God's self upon us. God comes to us as a servant, in humility. And we understand as modern readers of this text today that Jesus is about to give of himself for us. What does that mean for us?

It means that we, too, can live in the Father and that the Father can live in us! It means that we can participate in the Godhead in ways that humans never had been able to before. By living in servanthood, we can become God-like.

How do you choose to live out your servanthood today?

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 8:21-30

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.’ Then the Jews said, ‘Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, “Where I am going, you cannot come”?’ He said to them, ‘You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.’ They said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Why do I speak to you at all? 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.’ They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. 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. And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.’ As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

Earlier Event: February 27
John 8:12-20, Jesus the Light of the World
Later Event: March 1
John 8:31-38, True Disciples