We welcome Bernie, a regular member of our congregation, and member of the staff at St Chrysostom’s School, to offer thoughts on the Gospel reading for the Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent. (John 8. 51-end)
“Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
I think this reading is say that the people will not see death because only their bodies will die. It is important for them to understand that we live on. Jesus had already met Abraham in heaven before he was born, in other words, he already existed before he came to earth. In this reading Jesus isn’t making claims about himself, about how special he is, he is speaking about his Father, God, who is special. The people are angry at what Jesus is saying and so they want to stone him, because they think that what he says sounds like lunacy.
It was surprising that Jesus was talking about heaven already, as though he had been there before. It is funny to think that he was there all along, even before he was born and came to earth. I think we often forget that.
Sometimes people say things that I think sounds unlikely and surprising, but sometimes we just have to trust what other people are saying because it can be true.
I would like other people to know that Jesus was here before he came to earth as a man and that heaven was Jesus’ home before he came down to earth.
I would like to ask God why are we all here? Why does God take everyone away? Why do we all have to die?
God our Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer, who was and is and is to come, help us to trust in you and those around us who speak your word. Just as Jesus always pointed to God, so may we always point towards the Father in all that we do and say. Amen.