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Denha Second Sunday

Season of Denha

Second Sunday: JOHN 8:21-30
ONE WHO SENT ME IS WITH ME

INTRODUCTION

Despite the opponents Jesus had in Jerusalem, he attended the Feast of Tabernacles in the Temple and preached there. He predicted his imminent return to his Father in heaven, while the hostile Jews who rejected him would die in their sins. Jesus clarified he was from above, but those who rejected him belong to the world. Jesus came to lift humanity to heaven. He allowed his enemies to lift him on the cross, after which came his glorification through his resurrection and ascension. Jesus invites us to avoid death in our sins, and to follow his path of the cross to our glorification in heaven. He asserted his Father was with him. So also, God is with us by the merit of Jesus Christ and the sacraments he offers us through the Church he has established for our salvation.

BIBLE TEXT

(Jn 8:21) He said to them again, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” (22) So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?” (23) He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. (24) That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” (25) So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning. (26) I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.” (27) They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. (28) So Jesus said (to them), “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. (29) The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” (30) Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

INTERPRETATION

Background

After Jesus’ teaching on the Bread of Life (Jn 6:26-65), at the synagogue in Capernaum, “many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him” (Jn 6:66). Even his brothers did not believe him (Jn 7:5). However, the 12 apostles stayed with him (Jn 6:67-69). Realizing that the Jews were trying to kill Jesus, and because his time had not yet come (Jn 7:6), he delayed his travel to Judea for the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7:1). He went in secret to the Temple (Jn 7:10) when the feast celebration was half over (Jn 7:14). The people assembled for the festival were divided on who Jesus was (Jn 7:12). Jesus boldly preached to them and “many of the crowd began to believe in him” (Jn 7:31). However, people were divided on account of him (Jn 7:43). The chief priests and the Pharisees sent guards to arrest Jesus (Jn 7:32). But they could not do so (Jn 7:44). On the last day of the festival, Jesus taught on the rivers of Living Water (Jn 7:37-39) and discussed on the origins of the Messiah (Jn 7:40-52).

On the next day morning, Jesus again went to the Temple area and taught the people who gathered to listen to him. Then, the Scribes and the Pharisees presented an adulterous woman in front of Jesus to test him. However, they failed in that attempt (Jn 8:2-11). Jesus continued teaching and revealing himself as the light of the world (Jn 8:12), that led to his dispute with the Pharisees. Their attempts to arrest him were in vain because “his hour had not yet come” (Jn 8:20). So, the context of this gospel passage is a stressful situation of dispute between Jesus and the Pharisees.

(Jn 8:21) He said to them again, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.”

He said to them again

Jesus addressed his discourse initially to the worshippers who came to the Temple of Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. However, the Pharisees, the Scribes, and the temple guards also joined the crowd. Some had an inquisitive mind while his adversaries had a pessimistic approach. Jesus addressed the negative remarks to the opponents.

He said to them again

Before Jesus taught at the Temple area on the Living Waters, he had told his Jewish adversaries, “I will be with you only a little while longer, and then I will go to the one who sent me. You will look for me but not find [me], and where I am you cannot come.” (Jn 7:33-34). Hence, the following is a repetition of the same with an addition on their death in their sin if they reject him. The crowd that listened to him earlier might have gone and a new crowd might have formed. So, Jesus repeated what he had spoken before.

I am going away

We can take this in a double meaning that Jesus at times used. He was addressing the Jews at the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles. So, the pilgrims and Jesus were going away from Jerusalem after the completion of the feast. Another sense is that Jesus was going away from this world to return to his glory with his Father. So, they might no longer see him. The crowd could understand only the first sense.

You will look for me

After missing the opportunity for conversion, the listeners of Jesus might change their mind and look for salvation in vain. Jesus expressed similar thought in some of his parables, like the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31) and the parable of the ten virgins (Mt 25:1-13). The Rich Man and the Foolish Virgins realized their mistake only late and missed attaining their goal. The same would happen to the Jews who forsake Jesus the Messiah.

You will die in your sin.

By rejecting their long-awaited Messiah, they were giving up their redemption and embracing their spiritual destruction. They were intentionally dying in their original sin and their personal sins. The rejection of the Savior resulted in their destruction in this world, and in the world to come.

Some Biblical scholars interpret this from a historical perspective. Forty years after Jesus’ warning, the Roman army, under the leadership of Titus, attacked the Jews and destroyed Jerusalem along with the Temple in 70 AD. The Jews would earnestly desire the intervention of the Messiah to save them from that distress. But no other Messiah would come because Jesus is the only Messiah, and they resolutely avoided him. According to the historian Josephus, the Roman army killed 1.1 million people and took away 97,000 as slaves to Rome. Many fled to areas around the Mediterranean Sea. The Roman army destroyed the prestigious Jewish Temple. The Christians had fled from Jerusalem before this happened.

The sacrifice of Jesus was the remedy for the original sin that would benefit all who receive baptism and join his kingdom (the church) that he established on the day of Pentecost. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:16).

We must free ourselves also from personal sins. The teachings of Jesus and the sacraments he offers through the church help us remedy this. If the wicked do not turn away from their evil conduct, “then they shall die for their sin” (Ez 3:18; 18:18). The sins of omission can also lead to eternal damnation (Mt 25:41-43). So, accepting the gospel of Jesus and practicing it are essential to save us from the sinful death. Those who reject Jesus become the slayers of their own souls.

The word for sin is “hamartia” which means missing a target in shooting. In the spiritual sense, it means missing the goal in life, which is to reach heaven to be united with God. So, the non-believers and the impenitent miss their God-granted goal of reaching heaven.

Where I am going you cannot come.

Jesus is the bridge between the heaven and the earth. Though other religions attempt to reach heaven, they cannot touch that end. Jesus has opened the gates of heaven and has entrusted its key to Simon Peter (Mt 16:19). Those who reject or ignore Jesus will not pass through this bridge. Hence, they cannot approach Jesus, who sits at the right hand of his Father in heaven. So, Jesus is asserting that he will die, rise from the dead, and will ascend to heaven, where those who reject him cannot reach.

(22) So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”

Formerly, when Jesus mentioned, “I will go to the one who sent me. You will look for me but not find [me], and where I am you cannot come” (Jn 7:33-34), the Jews said to one another, “Where is he going that we will not find him? Surely, he is not going to the dispersion among the Greeks to teach the Greeks, is he?” (Jn 7:35). When Jesus repeated the same, they thought differently.

He is not going to kill himself, is he,

For Jesus, his death was imminent, and he was aware when that would happen. His death was a God-designed one that he voluntarily accepted for the salvation of humanity. When Jesus predicted that indirectly, the Jews suspected Jesus of a voluntary death. The reasoning behind it was that no one knows the time of his death except someone who commits suicide. The adversaries made use of this to ridicule Jesus as if he was going to end his own life. Since self-murder was a great crime, they asked this question out of their hatred and contempt. They considered Jesus as a blasphemer, a friend of sinners, a demon-possessed person, a breaker of Sabbatical laws, one who disrespected Jewish traditions, and a public critique of the Jewish leaders. So, they wished his death, probably a self-inflicted one. This expressed their malicious intention.

because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?

Since those who commit suicide were destined for Hades, the Jews interpreted that if Jesus was going to take his life, he would end up in Hades, and hence, he would be unreachable for them. The Jews believed that they were destined to reach Abraham’s bosom, that had a great chasm to prevent anyone from crossing to the netherworld (Lk 16:26) as Jesus showed in the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The enemies wished destruction of Jesus even in his afterlife.

(23) He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world.

You belong to what is below … You belong to this world

The Greek word for world is “kosmos.” God created it and found it good. Sin made it hard to live and created a gulf separating it from heaven. The people who are born in this world inherited the consequences of the original sin of Adam and Eve. Influenced by the worldly passions, they do evil that is opposed to heaven.

Instead of abandoning the world (humanity), God so loved it that he sent his son to redeem it (Jn 3:16). Without the rescue efforts of Jesus, they are destined to hell. Whoever rejects Jesus shall die in sin, and thus inherit eternal death.

I belong to what is above … I do not belong to this world.

In contrast to the humans of this world who have evil desires and corrupt actions, Jesus, who is God incarnate, is from above and holy. Though his body is earthly because he was born of a virgin, he had a divine origin in his incarnation by the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to reveal the heavenly truth to the worldly people and rescue them to heaven. That made a gap in the understanding of Jesus and the Jewish leaders of the time. The poor and the ordinary people welcomed his teachings. Whereas the proud and the elite abandoned him and opted for their own spiritual death.

(24) That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”

That is why I told you .

Since Jesus is from above and he is God, he has the knowledge and authority to say that those who reject him will die in their sins. Humans have inherited sin by birth because of the fall of the first parents, and they have personal sins that they are committing. So, they are living in sin. They can be free from this bondage only by accepting Jesus, who came as the redeemer of humanity, and only he can do it. Otherwise, their destiny is death in their sins.

I AM

God revealed His name as “I am” to Moses (Ex 3:14). To Isaiah also God revealed Himself as I AM, “You are my witnesses - oracle of the LORD - my servant whom I have chosen to know and believe in me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, and after me there shall be none” (Is 43:10). Jesus identified himself with the Father using the same name. When he used “I am” for himself, the Jews tried to stone him (Jn 8:56-59) because they understood Jesus was making himself equal to God. Jesus used “I am” in seven pronouncements about himself combining it with metaphors which express his saving relationship with humanity. All of them appear in the gospel of John: I AM the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35, 41, 48, 51); I AM the Light of the World (Jn 8:12); I AM the Gate for the Sheep (Jn 10:7, 9); I AM the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11, 14); I AM the Resurrection and the Life (Jn 11:25); I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn 14:6); and I AM the True Vine (Jn 15:1, 5). Besides in John 8:28, Jesus used I AM for him saying, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM” (Jn 8:58). When the soldiers came to arrest him at the Garden of Gethsemane, he revealed himself again as I AM (Jn 18:5). These are proof that Jesus is from above, he is God, and the God Incarnate or the Messiah.

For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.

Jesus further clarified the requirement of faith in him as God (I AM) to avoid death in sins. When the singular is used for sin, it refers to the original sin. Here Jesus used the plural “sins,” instead of singular sin he used before (Jn 8:21). That denotes the sins they had committed besides the sin they had inherited by birth. Besides the spiritual death, some interpret this also as a warning of the temporal destruction of Jerusalem that happened in 70 A.D. by the Roman army under the leadership of Titus. The Christians had escaped before that severe attack while many Jews died, and others faced many casualties, including the destruction of the Holy City and the Temple.

(25) So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.

“Who are you?”

This was a questioning of ridicule because Jesus expressed, he was from above and equivalent to God. Their goal was not to learn from him, but to put him down.

What I told you from the beginning.

Since the words in the original Greek text can have different meanings, the translations vary for Jesus’ answer, “What I told you from the beginning.” For example, they can also be, “Everything I am saying to you now is only a beginning,” or “I told you at the beginning what I am also telling you (now).” Jesus clarified he had the same answer that he had given from the start of their discussion or from the beginning of his public ministry. He did not change his response, though the adversaries tried to ridicule him.

(26) I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.”

I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true

The Jewish adversaries of Jesus, who were from below, denounced him based on their worldly misunderstanding of Jesus. Jesus, who was from God, had much to say to them in condemnation because of their denial of him as the Messiah and accusing him of false allegations. His understanding of the Jews was genuine because the God who sent him is true.

What I heard from him I tell the world.

Jesus had a shift of thought here. He first wanted to focus on preaching the truth he heard from his Father to the people who were receptive to his message, rather than pronouncing condemnation on the worthless people who opposed him. So, he refrained from denouncing them. The judgement will happen only at his second coming. His initial mission was to save the world by sharing the people the truth that originated from God, his Father. He knew that his argument with the opponents would not benefit their salvation. Instead, he gave them time for conversion.

(27) They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.

These words are from John the Evangelist. According to him, the Jews who were arguing with Jesus did not realize that God the Father sent Jesus, His Son, to redeem them and all humanity. Whereas for Jesus, his every word, action, and events that happened in his life were according to the design of his Father. Even if they understood Jesus was referring to God as his Father, they were fervently against acknowledging it. This was like Isaiah’s experience with the Israelites: They will “Listen carefully, but do not understand! Look intently, but do not perceive!” (Is 6:9). That lasted “Until the cities are desolate, without inhabitants, houses, without people, and the land is a desolate waste” (Is 6:11).

(28) So Jesus said (to them), “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.

When you lift up the Son of Man

Instead of saying when you lift “me”, Jesus used “lift up the Son of Man” to ascertain again his divine origin as a human being. Thus, he made it certain that they were going to crucify the Messiah. Despite that warning, the Jewish leaders were blind in annihilating him.

When you lift up the Son of Man

By using the words “lift up,” Jesus was referring to the prophetic action of Moses lifting a bronze serpent on a pole in the desert according to God’s direction (Num 21:9). God spared the snake-bitten sinners of the Old Testament from death, provided they looked up at the bronze serpent as a mark of their faith in God’s word. So also, God would save from the bite of the devil (serpent), those who believe in the Son of God lifted on the cross. Jesus had to fulfill this prophetic action and was predicting to his opponents how he was going to accomplish his mission.  

Jesus had foretold his crucifixion and its relationship with the lifting of the bronze serpent in his discussion with Nicodemus. Jesus told him, “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (Jn 14-15). Jesus clarified the purpose of mounting him on the cross in this conversation with Nicodemus. Just as the Israelites in the desert regained earthly life by looking at the mounted bronze serpent, those who look at the crucified Savior with faith will regain eternal life.

The Greek word for “lifted” means “highly exalted.” John gives importance to the exaltation of Jesus. So lifted also implied the glorification of Jesus that followed his crucifixion. They were his resurrection, ascension, and sitting on God’s right side.

When you lift up the Son of Man

Someone had to mount Jesus on the cross. Jesus was forecasting who would do that. If the Jewish adversaries were not spiritually blind, they would have recognized him as the Son of God and would not have crucified him. St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, “we speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, and which none of the rulers of this age knew; for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Then you will realize that I AM

Jesus had told his disciples, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw everyone to myself” (Jn 12:32). That happened soon after his crucifixion. “The centurion and the soldiers who guarded Jesus were greatly terrified when they saw the earthquake and all that had happened, and said, ‘Truly, this man was the Son of God’” (Mt 27:54). “And all the people who had gathered to watch the spectacle, as soon as they saw what had happened, went home beating their breasts” (Lk 23:48). On the day of Pentecost, after St. Peter’s speech, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day” (Acts 2:41). More Jews believed in Jesus later. “And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). “But many of those who heard the word came to believe and (the) number of men grew to [about] five thousand” (Acts 4:4). “The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7). Thus, the Jews who insisted Pilate to crucify Jesus and release Barabbas realized after his resurrection and ascension that he was the Messiah.

That I do nothing on my own

As part of the Most Holy Trinity, Jesus is not independent of his Father and the Holy Spirit. He does the will of his Father. In John 6:38 Jesus said, “I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” He further clarified, “And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day” (Jn 6:39).

I say only what the Father taught me.

The Jews who were amazed at Jesus’ words asked, “’How does he know scripture without having studied?’ Jesus answered and said, ‘My teaching is not my own but is from the one who sent me. Whoever chooses to do his will shall know whether my teaching is from God or whether I speak on my own” (Jn 7:15-17). Being the Word of God, Jesus did not require anyone to teach him. Even at 12, when his parents found him in the Temple after three days of search, he was “sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers” (Lk. 2:46-47). At the Last Supper, Jesus promised his disciples, “The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] told you” (Jn 14:26). These show the unity of the one true God in three persons. The truth comes from the three persons of the Most Holy Trinity, and they are inseparable.

(29) The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.”

The one who sent me is with me

Jesus expressed his Father in him in several instances. For example, when the Pharisees said to Jesus, “You testify on your own behalf, so your testimony cannot be verified” (Jn 8:13), he replied, “Even if I should judge, my judgment is valid, because I am not alone, but it is I and the Father who sent me. Even in your law it is written that the testimony of two men can be verified. I testify on my behalf and so does the Father who sent me” (Jn 8:16-18). When Philip asked Jesus, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (Jn 14:8), Jesus replied, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). He continued, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works” (Jn 14:10).

He has not left me alone

In his farewell speech, Jesus told his disciples, “Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (Jn 16:32). However, at the acute stage of his suffering, Jesus cried on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46). It was the fulfillment of Psalm 22:2 and an expression of the mental agony he went through, along with his physical distress. Jesus knew the Father won’t abandon him. However, like us, he also went through dark moments of loneliness and helplessness.

I always do what is pleasing to him.

Since Jesus was doing the will of his Father, he was pleasing to Him. Jesus told his adversaries, “Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also” (Jn 5:19). During his last supper discourses, Jesus said, “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love” (Jn 15:10). Thus, Jesus remained in the love of his Father by keeping his Father’s commandments. Our call is to please God by keeping the ordinances of God revealed through Jesus Christ.

Sometimes God the Father expressed how his Son was pleasing to Him. After John baptized Jesus, “a voice came from the heavens, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’” (Mt 3:17). At the transfiguration of Jesus, the disciples Peter, James, and John heard a voice from the bright cloud, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Mt 17:5).

Letter to the Hebrews 11:5 states, “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and ‘he was found no more because God had taken him.’ Before he was taken up, he was attested to have pleased God.” Enoch lived only 365 years when the lifespan was above 900 years during the antediluvian period. Jesus lived only 33 years in this world and rose from the dead and ascended into heaven because he pleased the Father by fulfilling the mission his Father had assigned to him.

(30) Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

Because he spoke this way

The way Jesus spoke was strong but confusing for many, especially his claim as the Son of God. For others, his teachings and actions were convincing to believe that he was extraordinary. The Jews in Jerusalem were conservative. Though they approached him with an antagonistic attitude, many acted inversely. While some rejected him, others took it with a positive mindset.

Many came to believe in him.

Jesus had many admirers and believers in Galilee and some in Judea. Most of them had received favors from him or were his receptive listeners. They included Jews, Gentiles, and Samaritans. Many of them were marginalized because they were sinners, poor, or publicans. The people who gathered around Jesus at the Temple when they were debating were mixed in receptivity. The pilgrims and the ordinary people had an inquisitive mind while his adversaries had a pessimistic approach. So, conversion happened in the lives of open-minded Jews.

Belief in Jesus could be of variant ranges. Some were mere admirers, and others were firm believers. When Jesus took an opinion survey of himself through the apostles while they were at Caesarea Philippi, the apostles responded, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (Mt 16:14).

John the Evangelist reports that although Jesus had performed several signs in their presence, many Jews did not believe in him (Jn 12:37). “Nevertheless, many, even among the authorities, believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they did not acknowledge it openly in order not to be expelled from the synagogue” (Jn 12:42). Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were major examples of this.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin. He was sure that Jesus was from God because he said to Jesus, “no one can perform miraculous signs like you do unless God is with him” (Jn 3:2). He chose nighttime to discuss with Jesus to avoid public notice. The Bible reports two instances when Nicodemus supported Jesus. He questioned the Sanhedrin on the unjust trial of Jesus: “Does our law condemn a person without first hearing him and knowing the facts?” (Jn 7:50-51). Nicodemus supplied spices to embalm Jesus’ body and assisted Joseph of Arimathea for the burial (Jn 19:39-42).

Joseph of Arimathea was a respected member of the Sanhedrin who was waiting for the Kingdom of God. He boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus for burial before sunset (Mk 15:43). He got permission from the governor. He contributed his valuable tomb no one had used and buried Jesus there. “Having bought a linen cloth, he took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb” (Mk 15:46).

MESSAGE

1. Jesus said, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come” (Jn 8:21). Since we have only a short lifespan, we must make use of every opportunity to do God’s will in our lives. Let us die in the grace of God rather in sins.

2. Just as a patient can refuse to take a lifesaving treatment, we have the freedom to accept or reject the salvation that Jesus offers. There are many who abandon the faith they once received. Let us pray for them and make sure that we and our coming generations do not lose the faith in Jesus.

3. Besides baptism that free us from original sin, we must free ourselves also from personal sins. The teachings of Jesus and the sacraments that he offers through the church help us remedy this. If the wicked do not turn away from their evil conduct, “then they shall die for their sin” (Ze 3:18; 18:18). The sins of commission and omission also can lead us to eternal damnation (Mt 25:41-43). So, accepting the gospel of Jesus and practicing it are essential to save us from sinful death.

4. God will raise those who die in Christ at his second coming for eternal life and those who die in sin to eternal damnation. Let us die in Christ by taking up the hardships of Christian witnessing for the eternal joy in heaven.

5. Though Moses raised the bronze serpent on a pole, that alone could not save the lives of the people. The snake-bitten people had to look at it with repentance and seek God’s mercy. Likewise, the death of Jesus on the cross is the symbol of our salvation. We need to look at the cross with repentance for our salvation.

6. Jesus said, “I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me” (Jn 8:28). We shall not deviate from what Jesus taught in our teachings of others, especially as religious instructors. Let us also follow the traditions and the magisterium of the church.

7. Jesus said, “The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him” (Jn 8:29). John the Evangelist wrote in his first letter, “Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God” (1Jn 4:15). He continued, “God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him” (1Jn 4:16b). Let us also feel the oneness with God and practice acts of live to please Him.