John 8:21-30: Dead End
Then [Jesus] went over the same ground again. “I’m leaving and you are going to look for me, but you’re missing God in this and are headed for a dead end. There is no way you can come with me.”
We are accustomed to hearing Jesus invite us to follow The Way with him and so today’s words might be disappointing. Yet when we look closely, we appreciate anew Jesus’ genuine candor, his gentle honesty.
God says: I know that the idea that Jesus leaves you and the Spirit comes to dwell in you might be difficult to grasp. I understand that the cosmos is as much a mystery to you as are the details of the human body and brain. I see that you have many questions: How can God be with us and everywhere at the same time? Why and how is God able to manipulate time and space? How do distant stars and tiny flowers all sprout from the same dust? Read my son’s words to you today and decide to let them sit with you. Re-visit them before you retire this evening. Allow the balm of my love to heal you, transform you, and bring you onto the path that has no dead end.
We wonder how we can avoid the dead end Jesus predicts for us.
Jesus said, “You’re tied down to the mundane; I’m in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I’m living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You’re at a dead end. If you won’t believe I am who I say I am, you’re at the dead end of sins. You’re missing God in your lives.”
The last verse in today’s reading might help us to better understand how the dead end we see before us becomes a beautiful openness to the possible: When he put it in these terms, many people decided to believe.
We determine to move from the dead end of our narrowness to the open way of Jesus as we remember this week’s Lenten practice. Rather than thinking: “I will set all things right in God’s kingdom,” let us think instead, “I will strive each day to follow Jesus’ example of forgiveness, mercy and love”.
Tomorrow, the truth.