THE STORY chapter # 25
(My home church is participating in the study of THE STORY – The Bible As One Continuing Story Of God And His People. Foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. Each week, my Thursday post focuses on our current study chapter.)
At the same time Jesus was healing the sick, driving out demons, bringing the dead back to life, and teaching how we should live – He was also revealing who He really is.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
After Jesus said He was “…the light of the world,” the Pharisees challenged Him saying His testimony was not valid. This is because only God is the source of light. But their confrontation didn’t stop Jesus. He went on to tell them –
“You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” John 8:23
Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” John 8:51
Now, Jesus was claiming “…I am from above.” But the Pharisees understood that only God resides in heaven. And Jesus also claims whoever believes in Him will not die. This struck a cord with the Jews, because the father of their nation, Abraham, died along with the other prophets. So how dare Jesus think himself to be greater than those men!
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. John 8:58-59
Jesus said “I am!”, meaning He was God! The crowd perfectly understood what He was declaring, because they knew from their history, when Moses asked God what His name was, God clearly said –
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. Exodus 3:14-15
Of course, Jesus was able to slip away from the stoning. Because the main reason He came to live among us, was yet to come. Then the time came for Jesus to boldly enter Jerusalem; continuing His purpose to spread God’s love and be the sacrifice for our sins.
THE STORY foreword by Max Lucado & Randy Frazee