“I AM, FOR YOU”
Saint John 8. 46-59
JUDICA: 17 March Anno Domini 2013
Father Jay Watson SSP
In The Name + of Jesus
Your sinful nature is like the sinful nature of those Jews who tried to make The Lord into an evil person. That’s what all self-justification does; it justifies the self and therefore must condemn the external authority. It’s what Adam did when he blamed Eve, and what Eve did when she blamed the serpent. The Jews refused to believe in Jesus’ teachings and implied declarations of Messiahship therefore they went on the attack.
Oh, you say, but unlike those Scribes and Pharisees, “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the very Christ of the Old Testament prophecies.” Well, yes your New Man is alive in that reality, but nonetheless your “old Adam” still thinks badly of God. You may not question the Lord’s paternity or divine nature by calling Him a half-breed or demoniac, but you use those very epithets and slurs against His other precious lambs…the ones you hate and despise.
The problem remains the same, no matter what the Gospel text happens to be: sin—your sin. You don’t love your neighbor because you don’t love your God the way He demands. You seek glory. You seek your own way and will. You are like the proverbial mule that wants to walk its own way…when it wants.
The Lord has come to rescue you from this tyranny and make you right “in the head” by making you right in the heart. He did right for many, many Jews as well, including Saint John and Saint Paul.
Since you like the Jews, like everybody, don’t “keep Christ’s saying(s),” which are His Fathers as well, you would taste death forever, rather than just a bitter brief recoil of the tongue and short respite in the grave, were it not for Jesus. Jesus kept all the Father’s sayings…all Ten of them. Jesus loved all those Jews who hated Him and he loved all those disagreeable persons that you hate. Jesus loves you and has made you His. You now keep Christ’s sayings by believing in Him and trusting Him; and receiving Him.
Who is Jesus? He tells you: “…before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus before He was born flesh and blood of the Blessed Virgin was still the Son of the Father. Before the incarnation Jesus was, always had been, the eternally begotten Logos, “the Word,” the second person of the Trinity. You’ve already confessed Him this morning to be the great I AM, when in the Creed, you said that the Son was God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by Whom (the Son) all things were made. But the Son was not made; He always has been, He is the I AM that was breathed into the lump of clay that would be Adam. He is the one who clothed Adam and Eve, appeared to Abraham as a smoking pot, spoke to Moses from the bush which burned but was not consumed, met Joshua on the plain as the Captain of the Host; wrestled with Jacob, stood by Samuel’s bed, tabernacled to David, guarded the three young men in the furnace, and appeared to Ezekiel in much the same way He would later appear to the author of today’s Gospel, when John would go on to write the Apocalypse. Jesus is the God/Man!
Unbelief did, and always will upon hearing this Truth of Truths about THE Truth, bend and pick up rocks with which to stone the Savior. You too hurl stones of disagreement and stones of frustrating doubt and anger at Jesus from time to time. Even as you hurl stones of slander at those Saints for whom He died. But Jesus was not killed by stones being hurled haphazardly. The Lord spoke the Truth about Who He was and then fulfilled all the truths written about Him in the Hebrew Scriptures. Not that day, but soon, very soon, He went again into their midst. He, not a devil but the slayer of devils, went into the very maw of Satan himself. Jesus’ precious pure Body of Righteousness wasn’t bruised and broken with stones but with the nails of horrific crucifixion. The Righteous Man, God/Man, taking the place of the unrighteous law breakers, Jews and Gentiles alike, so that the Slayer would pass by all those placed into His wounds, into His Body, by Grace, and thus saved. His Father honoreth Him above all in creation, for Jesus is beyond creation; He is uncreated, He is I AM, for you. His work and sacrifice you confess every Mass. But also, always confess His Person. For the I AM will never cease to be. And because you are in the I AM, you are too!
In The Name of The Father and + of The Son and of The Holy Ghost