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 he, you will indeed die in your sins.”
“Who are you?” they asked.
“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not understand that he was telling them about his 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 on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Even as he spoke, many believed in him. (John 8:21–30 NIV)
There are many people who acknowledge Jesus. Some see him as a great moral teacher. Some see Jesus as a wise philosopher. Some see a social revolutionary. Some see Jesus as a quaint tradition and bedtime story for those who do not know better. Some even see him as the fabrication of minds desperate for a religious Messiah and lifesaver of some sort. I once spoke to a man who told me he thought Jesus was important for those who needed to believe in something like that. He was willing to admit Jesus might be important for others but not so much for himself.
It is not enough to just acknowledge Jesus; we need to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of mankind. This is still missing a crucial step. It is crucial for us to acknowledge Jesus is our Savior, the forgiver of our sins, the giver of our new life in him. Jesus is our Redeemer.
In John 8, Jesus is having a discussion and debate with people who did not want to acknowledge him as the Son of God and as the Savior and Redeemer. Jesus knows that faith in him and surrender of our life to him brings to us life as God intends for us on this Earth. Jesus also knows that faith in him and surrender of one’s life to him brings eternal life in heaven. Jesus is stating that there is no other way to know intimacy with God and to know the fullness of God’s will without knowing him, without knowing Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Jesus said in John 14:6 that he is the way, the truth and the life – no one comes to the Father except through him.