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April 05, 2022

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DG BookGospel: John 8:21-30
Again, Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and though you look for me, you will die in your sin. Where I
am going you cannot come.” The Jews wondered, “Why does he say that we can’t come where he is going? Will he
kill himself?” But Jesus said, “You are from below and I am from above; you are of this world and I am not of this world.

That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. And you shall die in your sins, unless you believe that I am He.” They asked him,
“Who are you?”; and Jesus said, “Just what I have told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to condemn;
but the One who sent me is truthful and everything I learned from him, I proclaim to the world.” They didn’t understand that Jesus was
speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I
do nothing of myself, but I say just what the Father taught me. He who sent me is with me and has not left me alone; because I always
do what pleases him.” As Jesus spoke like this, many believed in him.




In many ancient cultures, serpent was often portrayed
as a symbol of healing and life. Modern medicine has as
its logo the Rod of Asclepius with a snake around it. In some
instances, the Bible too presents serpent as life-giving, though
we seem to miss it due to the ‘Genesis effect.’ When fiery
serpents killed Israelites, Yahweh asked Moses to make an image
of a serpent and raise it on a standard, so that anyone bitten
could look at it and be healed. Jesus borrows the same image
for himself and declares that when he would be lifted up, the
world would know who he truly is. St. John Chrysostom, in his 37th
homily on the Fourth Gospel, underlines this comparison. A
lead sarcophagus in Jerusalem, from the early Christian period,
shows a cross with serpent feet. Hence, the question to ask
ourselves: Which figure of snake do we look at: the venomous one
or the redeeming One?



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