Most references in the Bible treat the Jordan River as a boundary, as evidenced by the cluster of passages that speak of “beyond the Jordan,” “on the far side of the Jordan,” “across the Jordan.” Because it is the boundary of the Promised Land, the Jordan is associated with the glorious entry of the Israelites into the Promised Land (cf Dt 3:17). To cross the Jordan is to enter holy territory. Before the arrival of the “hour” of his passion, Jesus leaves Jerusalem and goes back across the Jordan. Jesus leaves behind the “holy places”—the land and the Temple—because
of the violent reaction to his declarations. In a “foreign” territory he is given some peace. But in the mind of the evangelist, Jesus’ action means that his ministry has come full circle, as Jesus returns to the place where it all began, with the baptism of John the Baptist (cf Jn 1:28). But Jesus is set on Jerusalem. He will leave the safety of the place and go back to the “holy land” where he will face his “hour”—his passion, death, and glorification by the Father. The death of his friend Lazarus will summon him. He will bring Lazarus back to life, which anticipates the the giving of “eternal life” through his death and resurrection.
Gospel • Jn 10:31-42 31
The Jews again picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Then they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power. He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.” And many there began to believe in him.
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.