“Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.”

Had not yesterday been the celebration of the Annunciation, we would have moved to the beginning of John 8 and the story of the woman caught in adultery (“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” [v. 7]).  Today we move further along in the same chapter (Jn 8:21-30) as Jesus continues to debate with the Pharisees.  Here He tells them that He is going away and they cannot follow.  They wonder if He is planning suicide.  Jesus continues, warning them of the consequences of their sinfulness.  Then they ask Him who He is.  Jesus says He was sent by the true one (the Father), that He does the Father’s will,  and that they will come to realize He Himself is “I AM” (vv. 24, 28) when He is lifted up (an allusion to His death and possibly His ascension).  The passage concludes with John writing the words at top.  Jesus’ warning to the self-righteous, blind to their own sin, but willing to condemn others is timeless.  The power of His words converted many and they continue to do so today.  The Word of God, particularly the words of Jesus the God-Man, is a powerful tool for evangelization.  How many have been converted, moved, enlightened , or drawn closer to the Lord by seemingly obscure passages they have come across, verses they opened to at random, or a sentence they had heard a hundred times before?  Opportunities to read the Bible, share its message, or use the words of scripture in our conversations, correspondence, and social media should be taken advantage of.  We never know when a friend, relative, or stranger (or ourselves) may be just in the right place spiritually to be ready for the light of scripture to be uncovered.

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