Jesus continued trying to teach the Pharisees (111): “I will go away. You will look for me, but you will die in your sins. You can’t go where I am going.”
In hopeful hatred, some of the Jewish authorities said to one another, “He says that we can’t go where he is going. Does this mean that he intends kill himself?”
Jesus went right on, “You belong to this world, but I belong to heaven. You are from this world, but I am from heaven. That is why I said that you’ll die in your sins. And you will die in your sins, if you do not believe that ‘I Am Who I Am’!”
(‘I Am Who I Am’ is a name by which God referred to himself in the inspired Jewish scriptures — when speaking to Moses from a burning bush that was never consumed by the fire!)
But the Pharisees would not believe that Jesus was God and they would not confess that they were sinners and they would not relinquish their positions of privilege in the world. Seeking a more favorable reply, they asked him again, “Who are you really?”
Jesus answered, “It is just as I have told you from the very beginning. In fact, I can tell you many things about yourselves, including things which deserve condemnation. God is truthful, and I tell you only God’s truth.” But the Pharisees would not receive this from Jesus, either.
So then Jesus said to them, “When you lift me up, you will know that ‘I Am Who I Am’. Then you’ll understand that I’m not acting on my own authority; I say only what God has instructed me to say.
“God is with me!” Jesus insisted. Then he added: “God never leaves me alone, because I always do what he wants.”
(111) John 8:21-29