John 8:12-30

I love the way Jesus chooses places to do his teaching that will help
his followers view ideas in a fresh way.

A few years ago, I got the chance to travel with other pilgrims to Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus once took his disciples on a retreat of sorts. There, walking amidst shrines to the Greek god, Pan, Jesus asked them an important question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16:15). As I stood beside the fallen columns that honor a shepherding Greek god, I wondered at that question. What a powerful place to ask it. Who was Jesus to me?

In today’s passage, Jesus does it again.

During the Festival of Booths, as Jewish people remember God’s
presence in their days in the wilderness and celebrate God’s leading
them at night in a pillar of fire, Jesus picks a powerful place to teach.
He stands in the temple’s treasury and says he’s the light of the
world. With his feet amongst the offerings, he offers himself.

The Pharisees don’t get it, and I can appreciate that. I’ve spent
much of my life like one of them, trying to earn my own way to God
by following rules, by trying to be good on my own. It’s still a habit I
fall back on when I’m not thinking. But Jesus says, “Dear one, leave
all that behind. Just follow.”

Jesus calls us into the offering box, shining his light in the world.
What beauty God can create in our lives when we follow!


How have I offered myself to others this week?


Dear Lord, help us follow Jesus by offering ourselves to the world. Amen.

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