Jesus asked the religious authorities of Jerusalem to believe
in him because of the Father’s works which he accomplished.
But such an act of faith must go through a mysterious death to self,
for a new “birth fromabove” under the influence of divine grace.
Such a demand for conversion in the face of so surprising a fulfill-
ment of the promises
allows one to understand the Sanhedrin’s
tragic misunderstanding of Jesus: they judged that he deserved the
death sentence as a blasphemer.
The members of the Sanhedrin
were thus acting at the same time out of “ignorance” and the
“hardness” of their “unbelief.”
Jesus didnot abolish the Lawof Sinai, but rather fulfilled
5:17-19) with such perfection (cf.
8:46) that he
revealed itsultimatemeaning (cf.
the transgressions against it (cf.
Jesus venerated the Temple by going up to it for the
Jewish feasts of pilgrimage, and with a jealous love he
loved this dwelling of God among men. The Temple
prefigures his own mystery. When he announces its
destruction, it is as a manifestation of his own execution
and of the entry into a newage in the history of salvation,
when his Body would be the definitive Temple.
Jesus performed acts, such as pardoning sins, that mani
fested him to be the Savior God himself (cf.
Certain Jews, who did not recognize Godmademan (cf.
1:14), saw in him only a man who made himself God
10:33), and judged him as a blasphemer.