Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant by something he said? Me (JP)? All the time!
In my most recent encounter with this, while I was listening to the Gospel of John on audio I got to the scene where Jesus is on trial. On a couple occasions, Jesus’ accusers ask him who he is. Ultimately, they want to hear him claim to be the Messiah. If he claims this, they’ll be able to convict him: they’ll argue that he can’t really be the Messiah since he didn’t keep the Sabbath day laws, and possibly other reasons too, I’m not sure. But I do know they wanted to hear him claim to be the Messiah.
Now, what struck me is Jesus’ reply to their question. They ask: are you the Messiah? Alright, here we go, what are you going to say Jesus? Sounds like I should expect a “yes” or a “no”. Instead, what he says surprised me. He says: it is you that say I am. …. What? These are the Pharisees. They don’t ‘say you are’. They have decided that you are not. What do you mean? Jesus, what do you mean???
I reflected on our Lord’s response and wondered if he means that, like it or not, through their actions they are in effect ‘saying that he is the Messiah’. It’s their actions that are doing the talking.
Jesus’ life story was written before he lived on earth. That story, found all throughout the Old Testament, included his suffering and his death. To suffer and die included accusers, nay-sayers, those who did not believe he is who he says he is – God. Thus, by putting him on trial with the intent of killing him, the Pharisees, the accusers, the nay-sayers, they were playing out what had been predicted long ago. The sad part is that they didn’t have the eyes to see it.
Let us not be blind as those who put Jesus to death were. Let us remind ourselves who he really is – God. Then let us obey him. He created us. He wants us to become the best versions of ourselves. That requires our cooperation. That requires that we obey him. … And what is it that you command Jesus?