Bruner on John 8.28


“So Jesus now said to them, ‘When you have hoisted the Son of Man up, then you will understand – that I Am, and that I do not do anything at all by myself, but that exactly what the Father taught me to say is exactly what I am saying.'” The Cross will be God’s Greatest Single Meeting Place with the human race, his one great hour of sharing. There, the Gospel of John dares to assert, in this strange hoisting, God has made himself most accessible to the world. What is God like? Look there. How much does God love the world? Look there. How can I come to know him? Look there. … The ignominy of the Cross is so countercultural, such human nonsense, that only God could have created this plan of world salvation. and carried it through. … Jesus’ whole vocabulary in the Gospel of John is deciphered by the dictionary of the Cross: the high God makes himself known in the low Jesus, and most particularly in God’s being with and for Jesus in the utter lowliness of Jesus’ degradation in Crucifixion. Deus semper minor, “God is always less.” This hoisting onto a tree is the revelation of the majestic I Am. The Burning Bush was only preview; the Bleeding Tree is the feature itself – of God’s Self-Revelation in Jesus’ Self-Immolation.

Frederick Dale Bruner, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Eerdmans, 2012), p.524

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