October 23: John 7-8
48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
I Know Him
As I read through the Bible passage shown above, I was thinking that it is a very strange discussion. It is almost as though Jesus and the Pharisees were talking about two entirely different things, and, in a certain sense, they were!
The conversation began with the Pharisees telling Jesus that He was a demon-possessed Samaritan. Then, Jesus' answer catapulted them into a whole new discussion about death. Plainly, the Pharisees did not have a clue about what Jesus was really saying. They were thinking of physical death, but He was speaking of spiritual, or eternal, death.
As the Jews brought up examples of men who were great and yet had died, the conversation turned to Abraham. They really become undone when Jesus stated, "Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” After all, Jesus was not yet even 50 years old, so how could He have known Abraham? Then Jesus concluded with these words.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Notice, that Jesus did not say, "I was." Rather, He said, "I am." The Jews got it this time; God had revealed Himself to Moses with the name, "I am." Jesus equating Himself with God was the final insult; they took up stones to stone him, but He disappeared into the temple.
How do we "score" compared to the Pharisees? Jesus had said earlier that if they truly knew the Father, they would know Him. Can you say, I know Him? This passage today again brings up a very important point. We are blind sinners from the moment of conception; unless God reveals himself to us, we will remain blind sinners for eternity. None of us can understand Christ apart from the Spirit dwelling within and teaching us the truth.
Do you know Him? Go to Christ; it is only through our Savior that our eyes can be opened so that now we see!
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.