“Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born,, I AM!””
John chapter 8 is a wonderful chapter that teaches us so much of who Jesus was and is. However, for Jesus’ listeners, it presents a great challenge to their understanding of who God was, who Jesus was and why He came. As you read the words in chapter 8, you can almost feel a growing crescendo, an almost tangible tension, as Jesus moves deeper in challenging people’s perception of who God was and who He was. As you read the words, you can almost picture the people’s faces, turning from confusion to anger as Jesus probes them into thinking outside of their ‘religious and limited understanding’. Chapter 8 reaches its crescendo in today’s verse, verse 58.
Jesus, in a fiery debate with the crowds, makes a very bold statement about Abraham, a patriarch in the Jewish faith. Jesus exclaimed, in verse 56, that even Abraham understood and looked forward to Jesus’ coming. Moreover, speaking of Abraham, “He saw it and was glad.” One can only imagine how crazy this must have sounded to the people. A thirty something year old ‘man’ telling the crowds that He knew what Abraham, a man who had died hundreds of years before, was thinking and looking forward to. So the crowds further pushed Jesus, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus’ response, in the next verse, is completely the changing point in this whole chapter, if not in the whole Bible.
Jesus then boldly said, that “before Abraham was even born, I AM (He is)!” WOW. That statement utterly infuriated the crowds. The crowds went mad, picking up stones to try to stone Jesus. What Jesus just said, implied that HE WAS GOD! Wait, what Jesus said, did imply He was God. If He was alive before Abraham, then He couldn’t be just a human, He had to be God! Or completely deluded! But Jesus, said in His final statement, these precious words, ‘I tell you the truth’. We know that Jesus was without sin, and didn’t lie, and so was indeed 100% speaking the truth. So by Him saying He was there before Abraham, which He was, could only mean one thing. He was, which meant, He was God!
Friends, we have it there in clear writing. Jesus saying (alluding to the fact) He was God! We can have two reactions. Do we believe and accept His truth, or do we pick up a stone and try to blot Him out of our lives because He said something that challenged our perceptions of who God is and who Jesus is? The choice is yours to make!