Commentary on the Gospel of
Another I am statement today. In fact, there are a few of them in today’s gospel reading. Jesus said it in the context of his imminent death on the Cross. When he spoke of ‘going away’ the people did not understand. The reason was, as Jesus said, ‘you are from below’. With worldly point of view, one will never understand Jesus and his words. His words and deeds are incomprehensible to the worldly minds because he said ‘you will die in your sins.’ He knew if they reject him, they are rejecting the only way to be saved from sin.
At this point they asked Jesus bluntly: who are you? The answer: “When I am lifted up you will realize that I am.” The depth of this statement is understood when this is seen against God’s revelation to Moses “I am who I am” and say this to the people of Israel, I am has sent me to you” (Ex 3:14). That is why the Evangelist compares his being ‘lifted up’ with his being ‘glorified.’ After his death everyone realised who he was and the meaning of all that he said. The point Jesus makes is that only after the crucifixion will we come to know who the messiah is and who God is --- then “you will know I am.” Relevant words for us when we undergo trials, something we are more conscious of during this season.