What Does John 8:21 Mean?

Then He said again to them, "I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come."

John 8:21(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Throughout His ministry, the Pharisees and teachers of the Law were at enmity with Christ, but as the time for His crucifixion drew ever closer, we see their hostility escalating, and their accusations against the Lord Jesus, becomming increasingly hostile.

They used a woman, caught in adultery, in an attempt to accuse Jesus of contradicting the Mosaic Law, but they were caught in their own trap, and were convicted of their own sinful dishonesty, when Jesus challenged them, by saying, let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.

Similarly, when attesting to His God-given authority, they challenged His personal testimony, refusing to believe His words and witness. They scoffed at His claim to be the eternal and incarnate Son of God, Who is equal with the Father - and in Whom are the words of eternal life.

The Law indicated that by the mouth of two witnesses a testimony was validated.. but these arrogant Jews refused His own, personal witness and ridiculed the second Testifier He presented to them - His heavenly Father. These short-sighted men demonstrated their ignorance of the Law, and their disdain for Christ's mission, ministry and witness, with their haughty resistance and their foolish jibes.

Although salvation is open to all who believe, the callused hearts and stiff-necked unbelief, of theses Pharisees and Jewish leaders, caused them to become a fulfilment of Jeremiah's prophetic words: O people, foolish and without heart, eyes they have and they see not, ears they have and they hear not. The prophetic words of Isaiah can also be identified, with the ranks of these closed-minded legalists: say to this people - hearing, hear shall ye, but not understand; and seeing, you shall see, but not gain wisdom.

Instead of recognising the voice of John the Baptist, crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, they chose not to repent, and refused to recognise the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. They did not acknowledge that Christ had come to set up the long-awaited kingdom of heaven, but did all in their power to oppose the truth.

Soon the Lord of glory would be returning to His place, at the right hand of the Father, and these unbelieving men, would miss the opportunity to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, for the foreignness of their sins. Instead, they had to be told repeatedly: I go away, and you will seek Me - but will die in your sin, for where I am going, you cannot come.

The one unforgivable sin that these foolish men committed, was unbelief. The singular sin of rejecting their Messiah and King, was not believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, for the salvation of their soul... for whosever believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is not condemned, but whosever does not believe on the only begotten Son of God, is condemned already - for there is only one way to the Father, and that is through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.

There is no other name given under heaven whereby men and women - Jew and Gentile, black and white, bond and free, young and old must be saved. This one condition of salvation remains true today.. As it has for centuries of time, the joyful truth continues to be shared: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

It is by faith alone that we are saved, not of works, lest any man should boast. It is by God's grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer, that we are born-again, have peace with God and become a child of the Most High.

I wonder if any of those foolish men, who rejected the witness and testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and His heavenly Father, during those days of His earthly sojourn, ever placed their faith in Christ. If not, they will have died in their sins and be separated for ever from their Creator and God.

May we be diligent to share the good news of the gospel of grace, with those that are equally closed to the truth, in our own generation - for lest they trust in the only begotten Son of God, they too will die in their sin, and be refused entry into heaven.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, this is a solemn teaching, and it grieves our soul, that there are many, like the proud Pharisees, who reject Your offer of salvation. It grieves us to know that there are still foolish people, who like the leaders of the Jews, refuse to open their eyes and ears to the truth of the gospel of Christ. Soften the hearts of men, women, Jews and Gentiles alike, so that they may recognise Christ as Saviour, and place their trust in His sacrificial work at Calvary. Use me, I pray, to spread the good news to unsaved people, so that they may hear, and believe, and not die in their sins, but be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour, in Whose name we pray, AMEN.

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