Today’s readings … Numbers 35, Proverbs 26, John 8
In our readings we have now reached the profound statements of Jesus that John alone records – but John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved”[John 21 v.7,20] and with whom he had a special relationship. He was the only one to stand by the cross, together with his mother and 2 other faithful women (John 19 v.25-27); we notice that John never names himself.
John records the sayings of Jesus in far more detail – he brings out the difference between dying (eternally) and to “have fallen asleep” [1 Cor. 15 v.6, 18,20] On Saturday we will read the intensely moving account of the raising of Lazarus after being dead four days: Jesus at first confused his disciples by telling them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep” [ch.11 v.11]
Back in today’s chapter we have the inspiring, but challenging promise of Jesus, “’If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.”[8 v.51]. The Jews, jealous of his popularity did not understand, let us make sure we understand. Jesus told them, “You are of this world; I am not of this world” [v.23]. All around us are those who “are of this world.” Their ambitions in life are focussed on the here and now – and they will taste death – eternal death!
Jesus had a wonderful and intimate relationship with his Father. He told them, “he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”[v.29] Let us so live, that we can say the same – and then we “will never taste death.”