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Where is Everybody Going?

John 8:21-24
Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come." This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, 'Where I go, you cannot come'?" But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." (NIV)

Jesus said He was going to go away, and then it would be too late for His critics to decide to follow Him. It was a strange statement. He declared that He would be out of their reach: that prompted the Jews to wonder if He was contemplating suicide. Far from it. Jesus knew that only Father God has the right to determine when everybody enters this world and when they shall leave it. Even though He was God, Jesus still submitted to His Father's timing and did not allow Himself to be crucified until the time that was appointed.
Jesus knew He had come from heaven and would return there. His religious accusers would not be able to reach Him because they did not trust Him to lead them to heaven. Instead, they would die in their sins and face God's eternal judgement because they did not believe that He was who He claimed to be. They thought that His claim to divinity was either a lie or blasphemy, or both.
This world is temporary. Our lives are temporary. We are not here for ever. Everybody goes somewhere after this life. Jesus knew where He was going (John 8:14); He was going to return to the glory of heaven and the intimate company of Father God. Although His accusers were very religious, they did not know where they were going. The temporary nature of life should help us to think about where we are going when this life is finished, but our nervous human nature pushes such thoughts away. We are not allowed to choose when we leave this world but it is essential that we, and those we love, desire that Jesus shall be our destination and trust Him to take us there.

Eternal Lord. Thank You that You know everything. Thank You for the confidence which Jesus expressed about His future. Forgive me for being so occupied with this world that I give little thought to where I, and my friends or family, are going. Please help me to live each day with an eternal perspective, trusting in Jesus to take me to His home and urging those around me to trust Him as well. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams