In recapitulating the “Book of Signs,” the evangelist comments on the failure of Jesus’ “own” to receive him and come to the light. Indeed, as Jesus’ “hour” is coming, his enemies—the “Jews,” who are the religious leaders—make up their mind to get rid of Jesus. Jesus comes to them as light, and they refuse him and choose to remain in darkness.
Even among the leaders, however, Jesus’ words do not all fall on barren ground; some believe in him and confess him. The man born blind is made to see physically and is given an “insight” to believe in Jesus despite the opposition of the Pharisees (cf Jn 9:1-40). The blood of Jesus on the cross will water the seed of faith in others, and they will come out in the open. Such is the case of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They are members of the Sanhedrin and are disciples of Jesus—although in secret, for fear of the Jews. When Jesus’ “hour” arrives at the cross, they are no longer timid: they ask for the body of Jesus and anoint it for the burial.
Gospel • JOHN 12:44-50
Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”
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