48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” 49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” 52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” 54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
This passage covers the final events of a visit Jesus made to Jerusalem to attend a Jewish festival. By this time in his ministry Jesus had performed many miracles and had begun to speak openly about Himself. He had gained many followers but also enemies, some of who wanted Him killed.
Just prior to Jesus leaving the festival in v58 in an exchange with some angry Jews he says, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’. This is a reference to Exodus 3:14 and probably the clearest statement Jesus could make that He is the incarnation of Jehovah God Almighty.
To be honest, if I had been there myself, I am not sure I would have believed Him. It reminds me of the proposition made by C.S. Lewis, you only have three options regarding Jesus.
He is either a Lunatic, a Liar, or Lord.
As Christians we confess ‘Jesus is Lord’ but the question I have challenged myself with recently is ‘does my private life agree with my confession?’.
It is a great question to ask yourself. For most people, if you cannot find anything in your behaviour that needs improving it usually means you haven’t been prayerfully asking the question.
Lord, I ask you today, to bring to our awareness areas of our behaviour we need to better align with our confession ‘Jesus is Lord’! Amen
Written by David Newton