Video Host: Fabian Kalapuch - New Jersey DYD
Big Scripture: John 8:48–59 (NLT)
48 The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?” 49 “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me. 50 And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge. 51 I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!” 52 The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” 57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” 59 At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.
In this story Jesus says some pretty radical things, and as a result the crowd gets very angry—angry enough that by the end they want to kill Him! So, what did Jesus claim that made the crowd so angry? In the text we see two things:
1) Jesus claimed that His teaching had the power to keep people from death. The crowd was correct in pointing out that everyone dies, even notable people from the Old Testament times. But Jesus wasn’t talking about living forever here on earth. Jesus was talking about the fullness of life that can be experienced here and now. He was also letting them know about forever life that will be experienced there and then—in heaven—with Him!
2) Jesus claimed to be “before Abraham.” In fact, He used the phrase “I am” which was the name God used for Himself when He revealed Himself to Moses. Don’t miss what this means: Jesus was claiming to be God! Many people think Jesus was just a good teacher, a nice man, or a good example. But Jesus claimed to be more than that; He claimed to be God, and that’s ultimately why He was killed. But Jesus wasn’t confused about His identity and we shouldn’t be either. We are God’s children and we will be with Him in heaven some day! Jesus is the eternal God!
- Have you ever heard someone claim something that you didn’t believe was true?
- What was it and how did you determine if it was true or not?
- What two claims did Jesus make?
- What do those claims mean to you?What does the fullness of life look like here and now for you?
Thank You for the truth found in Jesus. Thank You that He didn’t come just to be a good person or a great example. Thank You that Jesus came as God in the flesh so that He might live a perfect, sinless life and then take our place on the cross, providing hope and salvation for us all. Help me to consider, believe, and defend the claims of Jesus. Help me to live my life by those claims. Thank You that You do not ask me to do this on my own, but You give me Your grace, Your Spirit, and my church family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.