John 8:12-30 Dispute Over Jesus’ Testimony
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 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.” 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.
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.”
25 “Who are you?” they asked.
“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”
27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 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.
Living God’s Word:
To people who fear being offensive when they express their faith, the bluntness of Jesus’ statements stands as a rebuke. Sometimes we do not love people enough to risk losing their approval. Jesus took the risk because he loved the people, even those who rejected him. Among those who did listen to Jesus were some who had once been firmly set against him.
At all times Jesus was truthful, never deliberately harsh or offensive. Jesus said what people needed to hear, fully knowing that they did not want to hear it. If we wait to speak about Christ until we are sure the other person is ready to listen, we may never speak at all. Our caution will prevent us from sharing our faith with some who might astound us with their unexpected openness.
Words to Live By: Jesus claims to be the light of the world, through whom people may have life, which prompts the Pharisees to question His authority. Unless individuals believe in Jesus Christ, who was sent by God the Father, they will die in their sins. Jesus’ cross reveals that He is truly the Messiah, the Son of Man sent to deliver us from spiritual darkness.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have made me a new person through Baptism. Now make me Your light in the world. Amen.