The DEEP

Who Are You?

From somewhere else.

John 8:21–30

Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”

So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?”

And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”

And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”

They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.

Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.

Today’s passage reminds me of Paul’s epistle to the Romans. There, Paul repeatedly asks extreme questions and then answers them with an emphatic, “No!” (May Gen-oi-taw in Greek) Even though each question poses a wild exaggeration of Paul’s point, it confirms that the question is fair. If that question is on your mind, then you’re on the right track; you understood Paul’s point. That’s useful.

The question by the Jews—“ Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?”—serves a similar role. Their reaction reflects an honest interpretation of what Jesus said. It shows that Jesus wasn’t merely talking about a place they’re not allowed into; He’s talking about a place outside of their realm. That’s why they’re wondering if going there involves dying.

Jesus confirms this when He says, “You are of this world; I am not of this world.

He is talking about a place outside of their realm.


So they ask, “Who are You?

Jesus’s reply is about “He who sent Me,” but they did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.

So, He mentions the Father explicitly, even calling Him My Father. It may not sound winsome, but it is.

As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

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The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.