April 1, 2015
What’s God saying to me? John 8:52-59, Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ 53Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”
54Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
57Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
59Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
What it means – research:
- David Guzik, BlueLetterBible.org:
- Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead: This claim delights the Pharisees opposing Jesus; they believe they finally have Him! How can Jesus promise such life – shall never see death – when Abraham himself could never make such a promise! Does Jesus claim to be greater than Abraham was? Whom do You make Yourself out to be?
- It is My Father who honors Me: Jesus does claim to be greater than Abraham – but it is not an honor He takes to Himself. Yet they do not recognize this honor, because they have not know Him.
- Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad: Not only is Jesus greater than Abraham, but Abraham himself acknowledged this! Jesus declaration of this brings back the accusation “How could you know Abraham rejoiced in You? Were You there?” To which Jesus replies, “Yes!“
- Before Abraham was, I Am: this is the third time in this chapter Jesus uses the phrase I Am (John 8:24, 8:28), and here in John 8:58.
- I Am: The ancient Greek phrase is ego emi, which is the same term used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament in Jesus’ day to describe the Voice from the burning bush.
- In using the phrase I Am (John 8:24, 8:58, 13:19) Jesus used a clear divine title belonging to Yahweh alone (Exodus 3:13-14, Deuteronomy 32:39, Isaiah 43:10) and was interpreted as such by Jesus’ listeners (John 8:58-59).
- “The phrase harbours within itself the most authentic, the most audacious, and the most profound affirmation by Jesus of who He was. ” (Stauffer)
- The best proof what Jesus meant by claiming to be the I Am is found by seeing the response of His listeners: They took up stones to throw at Him. They wanted to stone Him for blasphemy, for claiming to be God.
- But it could not happen, even as it could not happen back at John 7:30, because His hour had not yet come.
- The remarkable theme through this whole chapter is expressed strongly at the end: Jesus is in perfect unity with God the Father, because He Himself is God. Those who reject Jesus reject Him because their “spiritual parentage” is not of God.
- Our spiritual parentage is of the utmost importance – and it is revealed by our response to Jesus. Who is your spiritual father? You prove it by your actions as well as claiming it by your words.
What have I learned about God? Those who reject Jesus reject Him because their “spiritual parentage” is not of God.
What’s the application? Know who your spiritual father is, God or the devil.