John 8:19-22 : They said therefore to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me, nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” Jesus spoke these words in the treasury, as he taught in the temple. Yet no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. Jesus said therefore again to them, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sins. Where I go, you can’t come.” The Jews therefore said, “Will he kill himself, that he says, ‘Where I am going, you can’t come?'”
I believe that this is one of the most tragic parts of the book of John that we have read so far. Up to this point, Jesus had been very tolerant of the Jewish leaders. He had held out hope for them to believe and had warned them of disbelief. This was the end for them. Jesus told them, “you will die in your sins.” What a horrible thing to miss the only chance left to live in peace with God for eternity. The only thing left for these people was to perish forever in Hell.
Before He says this, Jesus repeats that they don’t know His Father, God. Knowing God goes along with knowing Jesus. Jesus clearly makes the claim that anyone who claims to know God but doesn’t know Him doesn’t really know God. This is another way of saying that Jesus is the only way to prove you really know God. Here, again, we see that Jesus is the only way to God. This is not merely an intolerance of other religions, this is a prediction about the future. Jesus is saying that if anyone doesn’t accept Him, they will die in their sins and as He has already said, this means they will die on the “last day.” Sure God was allowing them to “co-exist” now, but they were self-condemned already and would die in the end. When we, as Christians, try to convince people of other religions to believe in Jesus, it isn’t that we are trying to change people’s religion, it is that we really believe that Jesus could tell the future. It’s out of love that we do whatever we can to lead people to safety.
It is clear from the response of these Jews that they had no idea what Jesus was talking about. It isn’t that Jesus hadn’t made it clear. They didn’t want to hear it. What a horrible day. Jesus declared to these specific individuals their eternal separation from God their Savior.