I knew a guy who claimed to be God. He set his watch 5 minutes ahead and said his time was correct.
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” Luke 4:25-26
The last exchange in Jesus’ conversation with the Pharisees in John 8 is the most revealing of all as Jesus reveals who His Father is,
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.
Three times in this conversation, Jesus claimed to come from God or to be God Himself.
- “My Father, whom you claim as your God”– Jesus finally told them who His Father is. This by itself was enough to be considered a blasphemer. In verse 52, they called Him demon-possessed. To claim that God glorifies Him just adds fuel to the fire. To top it off, Jesus told them that they really didn’t know God. He had already told them that their father was the one they served, which was the devil (v.44).
- “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad”- The first thing we notice is that Jesus called Abraham their father, which is what they claimed in verse 39. It was true: Abraham was their physical forefather. Jesus was being illustrative when He called them children of the devil. Calling Abraham their father connected them to His declaration of Abraham seeing His day. What day was that? I believe it can be found in Genesis 18 when the LORD appeared to Abraham on His way to judge Sodom and Gomorrah, which is impossible by human standards. The Pharisees said as much, “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” It is Jesus’ reply that really made them angry!
- “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “Before Abraham was born, I AM!”– “I AM” is God’s name for Himself. In Exodus 3:14, God told Moses, “This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” The footnote says, “The Hebrew for LORD sounds like and may be related to the Hebrew for I AM.” Jesus was claiming that He is God, the LORD.
Although they tried to stone Him, Jesus continued to reach them through words and deeds. In the next chapter, Jesus heals a man born blind (on the Sabbath!), then He asks them to believe His works if not His words (10:37-38), and then raises Lazarus from the dead, all the while telling them that He will voluntarily lay down His life for them, which He did on the cross.
Tomorrow, we will look at what Jesus said to Martha on that fateful day. For today, let’s be grateful that Jesus rose from the dead and continues to show the Father’s love to us!
Abba, thank You for coming to show us who You are. Jesus, You are the exact representation of God the Father. When I look at You, I see the Father. And, what do I see? LOVE! Love that is so wide and long and high and deep that I will never fathom it (according to Ephesians 3:18-19). Reading about You thrills my soul. Keep opening up our minds and hearts, O Lord. Amen.