Even though I have read and taught John many times, I continue to be fascinated with his Gospel and I continue to learn. I hope you feel the same.
John chapter 8 is one of those chapters that blows me away. It begins with a group of Jewish leaders throwing an adulterous woman at his feet right as He was in the middle of teaching a lesson at the temple. They were testing Him to see if He thought the woman should be stoned according to the law of Moses. There is a lot of background to this story and so if you missed it, please click on the Vimeo icon to your right and catch this.
What I want to focus on in this email comes later as Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This is His second “I am” statement in John. This is another claim of His deity. Of course, that stirs up the Jewish leaders even more.
Their questions to Him and about His legitimacy ramp up. He lets them know that His Father is from above and that if they truly knew His Father, they would know Him also. They say that their father is Abraham. To the Jews, he is not only the father of their faith, but they are physically the descendants of him. Jesus tells them that they may be the physical descendants, but they are NOT the spiritual children of Abraham or they would know Him. Whoa. He just let them know they are not the spiritual children of God or Abraham. What was their response?
Well…they said that they were not born of sexual immorality (8:41), inferring that He was. Do you think Jesus backed down, shied away and shut His mouth? No way! He ramped up His charges against them saying that that He spoke the truth and they spoke lies because their daddy was the devil (John 8:42-47)!!!
Then they said that Jesus was a Samaritan (not a Jew and in fact, hated by the Jews) and that He was demon-possessed (8:48). I’m going to copy this last part from my notes:
8:49 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.” [Jesus is saying that If you keep My sayings, you will never see spiritual 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.” [Abraham literally leaped for joy. Gen. 14:18-20 – Abraham met Melchizedek (My King is Righteousness), king of Salem (peace). He is called the priest of God Most High. He gives Abraham wine and bread and blesses him. Abraham gives Melchizedek a tithe. See also Hebrews 7. Or it could be referring to when the Lord cut an everlasting covenant with Abraham in Gen. 17 or when the Lord and 2 others (angels) appear in Gen 18 to tell him that he and Sarah will have a son in one year; or in Gen. 22 when Abraham took his only begotten son to sacrifice him on the mount, and the son was spared because of a substitution sacrifice. Gal. 3:6-9, 14]
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.” [To us this sounds like improper English. But in making this statement, Jesus is using the covenant name of God – I AM, therefore claiming to be the eternal God. In fact, the term I AM (in Greek – Ego ami) is the root of the Hebrew personal name for God, Yahweh, which is expressed in our English versions of the Old Testament as the capitalized LORD. Thus “I AM” is the unique name of the God of the OT as He revealed Himself to Moses, and acted in power to redeem Israel from Egyptian bondage. For Jesus to identify Himself as the I AM was to make an unmistakable claim to be Yahweh Himself, the one all Israel worshiped as God.
It is no surprise then that the Jewish leaders responded to this claim, as John reported in John 8:59, by picking up stones in an attempt to kill Jesus for blasphemy.
As you think about this, I want to ask you one question? WHO’S YOUR DADDY?
~MaryFollow Merry Ministries online
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