Then said Jesus again unto them, I go My way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.
Then said the Jews, Will He kill Himself? because He saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
And He said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
Jesus knew He was setting the scene for His eventual arrest, trial, torture, death–and resurrection!Because that time had not yet come, He challenged the religious leaders over and over again with their lack of knowledge of Who He was, and of Who God is.
They worked very hard to dot every “i” and cross every “t” in their efforts to keep the Torah, their beloved Law. What they didn’t. understand was that the Law was intended to help them understand their own unworthiness before God. No one can keep the whole Law every minute of every day. That is why we need a Savior!
The Law was intended to show us our sin and direct us to the holiness of God. It was not intended to be the sole means of salvation.
Jesus, therefore, told the religious leaders that He would soon go to His own place, meaning heaven; and that they, full of pride and arrogance, could not follow Him there, but would die in their sin because of their rejection of God.
The people, hearing this strange declaration, wondered if Jesus intended to take His own life! They interpreted what He said as something that would happen immediately.
His response, another clear indication of His position as Son of God, was simple: You men come from beneath (heaven) and you are of this world. I am from above (the world), and I, unlike you, am not of this world.
Was there any hope that any of these powerful religious leaders would at some point turn to Jesus and acknowledge Who He was? I think so. We have already seen Nicodemus humble himself and seek a conversation with Jesus in which Jesus clearly stated, “Ye must be born again.” I believe there were those who stood at the foot of the cross and watched His suffering, heard His words, and were convicted in their hearts.
One of the things I love most about the gospel is that it is equally welcoming to the lowliest of all, and the highest of all. From either end of that spectrum, and everyone in between, what is needed is humility, repentance, and faith that Jesus Christ is the One Who provided salvation to all who will come to Him.