Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.”┬áJohn 8:21

Why did Jesus repeat Himself to those who heard Him? “Then said Jesus again unto them.” We would think that Jesus would never have to re-teach the lessons He had taught. Surely His listeners would pay very close attention to everything He said, hanging on every word. How could they forget the things they heard from the great Messiah? Yet, our text tells us that Jesus told them “again.” He went over it with them another time. He repeated His plans to “go my way.” It is interesting that, even though the gospels record that Jesus reiterated His purpose to die a cruel death and then rise again, the disciples were not expecting either. They were slow to believe when they heard the news of His resurrection.

Repetition is a key part of teaching and learning. This is common knowledge to all who work with the education of children. The memorization of Scripture is enhanced by repetition. On this subject, Paul said, “To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe” (Philippians 3:1). He said that it was safe to repeat truthful information. One could make the case that it is unsafe not to repeat the truth. It is beneficial for us to be reminded. For one thing, we all have a tendency to forget. We have forgotten important information. We even forget Bible verses that we have memorized and spiritual commitments we have made. Being reminded is good for us.

Sometimes we do not remember things because we do not listen as carefully as we should, or we fail to take learning seriously. Most people will admit they have to work at being good listeners and battle with distractions. Another reason that repetition is necessary is because error has a way of eroding our convictions of truth. If we hear false teaching often enough, it can weaken our position – especially if the truth is not being rehearsed to us.

Jesus told them “again” because they needed it; it was good for them. Because these things are true, we should appreciate the fact that our teachers care enough about our learning that they occasionally repeat sound doctrine for our benefit. It is not because they have nothing new to share. Repetition is essential in the process of learning. Because this is true, we need to remind others of the truths of the Word of God.