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John’ gospel post 46: I AM

December 29, 2013

John 8:34 – 59

Jesus continues in spite of the protestations of his listeners. They believe they are free, but they do not see that they are slaves – to sin. All of them.

As slaves they have no standing in God’s house. But Jesus has standing – he is the son, the heir of the estate. So if he makes you free, it counts. You’re free.

These people are descendants of Abraham – the father of faith. The one who obeyed God’s call even though he had no idea where it would take him. “But you’re looking to kill me. You have no time for my word”.

“But we have different fathers and we are each doing what our father tells us”.

The people argue again. Our father is Abraham (please note Father Abraham not to be confused with the guy with the smurfs – mercifully!)

“But if you were children of Abraham you would accept me. You are not his children” Jesus continues.

“Hey we’re not fatherless orphans! In fact, God is our only father!”

Good response? Bad response – they’ve walked right in to their own trap. If they loved God then they would love Jesus – the one God had sent. ” You can’t hear what I’m saying because actually you are the devil’s children. The devil is a murderer and a liar. I speak the truth and I live without fault. But you don’t believe me”.

Jesus’ condemnation of the people who shortly before were ‘believers’ is complete.

They now introduce some Inaccuracy to try to change the subject. Jesus is a Samaritan. Err no. He’s demon possessed, they try next.

Jesus dismisses this. “I am honouring my father God. Believe in me and you will never die”.

The people stick to their demon possessed line. Abraham and the prophets – even they died. Is this guy greater than them?!

Jesus again repeats his relationship with God the father. He starts talking about Abraham like he knows him. This is nonsense. He’s not even fifty and he knows one who lived thousands of years before. This is madness. “Oh right – you know Abraham do you?! That’s great”.

Jesus does not flinch. “Before Abraham was I AM!”

Bang!

Now he’s done it. The people pick up stones to execute him. But again he slips away. Funny how again people are determined to kill him as when his home town people had decided to throw him over the cliff. He’s not going anywhere. He’s not ready yet. He just walks away. They have no hold on him.

So what is all the fuss about? Why the stoning? Can this really just be about their horror at Jesus’ bad grammar, his clumsy mixture of past and present tenses?

Oh no. Jesus has really said something this time. 2 little words. 3 letters. “I AM”. No Jew would take those words upon their lips. This was the name of God. When Moses asked God for his name, this was the name he was given – I AM.

Jesus has talked about knowing God, being sent by him, obeying him, but now he’s made the biggest claim of all. “I AM God”. That is what provoked the actions of the people.

This was the ultimate blasphemy.

Unless. Unless. Unless….what he said was true. Then we would need to listen.

Again – offended by Jesus? Or ready to listen as if your life depended on it?

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From → Christianity

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