Jesus Predicts His Departure

Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”

22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?”

23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”

And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”

27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.

28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. — John 8:21-30.

Jesus says He is going away to His Father after He has been killed. His opponents insinuate that Jesus is illegitimate (see verse 41). Jesus says all His teaching comes from the Father, and that the Father is with Him. He always pleases the Father. This causes many to believe in Him.


“I am going away” (v.21). — Jesus speaks of His death, resurrection, and ascension.

“die in your sin.” Jesus clearly states the two destinies of humanity. Not all will be saved; some cannot go where Jesus is going. Jesus, and our belief in Him as the Christ, is the only way of salvation (v. 24; 3:16, 18).

“I am He” (vv.24, 28). — Here Jesus applies Old Testament language for Yahweh to Himself (Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 43:10), an identification that becomes clear in v.58.

“lift up the Son of Man” (v.28). – This is a key term in this Gospel account (8:28; 12:32, 34). It carries the double meaning of crucifixion and exaltation. Christ’s death on the cross, His resurrection, and His glorification together reveal the glory of God. The crucifixion was the foundation of God’s eternal plan to save His people (Acts 4:27,28).

“believed in Him” (v.30). — It appears (vv. 33, 37, 39) that their belief was superficial. True believers are those who abide in His word (v. 31). Perseverance characterizes those who are truly born of God (15:2, 6; 1 John 2:19).

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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