Fifth Sunday in Lent (1885)
John 8:46-59 We lay eyes on our Savior in a state of deepest humiliation in holy Lent; we see Him covered with shame and scorn, with stripes and wounds, tortured by anguish and pain the size of which we cannot conceive, judged as a malefactor on the cross and His head bowed in death. Nevertheless Jesus, the desecrated and crucified One, is still the Son of God. As He did not cease to be God when He became man, He has not ceased even in the days of His deepest humiliation to be the Lord before all, the Holy One of Israel, the Giver of eternal life. Individual rays of His divinity brightly burst forth even through the veil of His flesh. And so we should not forget in holy Lent who was the battered, bent up to the dust of death Jesus. The Church has thus selected such Gospels for this time in which Christ particularly appears to us in His divine glory. Thus the Lord reveals His glory in today's Gospel in the most unambiguous way, and namely toward His enemies.
How the Lord reveals His glory before His enemies.
He does this, 1.
in that He holds up His divine sinlessness to them
. "Which one of you" etc.
"He committed no sin, neither was deceit" etc.
"One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."
If all other witnesses for no sinlessness were missing, which so many come to light in the passion history: our text alone already would give us complete certainty about it. Jesus was able to challenge His enemies to accuse Him of one sin. They could not. And because He was the Son of God without any sin He could take alien sin, our sin upon Himself and atone for it. "We should have such a high priest" etc.
"He is the Lamb of God" etc.
This divine sinlessness is the first ray of His glory that shines in the eyes of His enemies. We refresh ourselves at this high consolation. The Lord also further reveals His glory, 2.
in that He proves His divine patience to them
. Just look how the Jews rise up against Him, and how He bears it with a patience without equal. They heap insults on
1 Peter 2:22.
John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:18-19.