Summary: Next in series on John. Examines people's beliefs about Jesus
John 8 (4)
Who is Jesus?
- Read John 8:31-58
A debate was going on about who Jesus was. The Jews claimed they were children of Abraham. Jesus told them, “If you were really children of Abraham, you would believe Me. But you’re not. You’re children of your father the Devil.
Perhaps just in self-defense, or perhaps, as an attack on Jesus’s parentage, because there was some question about who the father was, they answer back, “We are not illegitimate children.” Jesus replies, “If you were children of Abraham, you would glorify Me, because that’s what he did.”
Now we know you haver a demon. You’re not yet 50 years old and yet to claim to have seen Abraham?” Jesus answers, “Truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I AM”.
And they picked up stones to kill Him.
Why did they pick up stones? Why did they want to kill Him? For a number of reasons, but primarily here, they did it because they understood Jesus was claiming to be God. And I have to admit, if He wasn’t who He claimed to be, I might be right there with them.
I AM, that’s a title with a sacred history. When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses asked what he should say to the people God sent him to and they asked, “What is His name?” In one of the great moments of revelation in the Old Testament, God replies: “I Am who I am” and instructs Moses to tell them that I AM has sent me to you”.
It is a title that signifies the eternity of God. The Hebrew word for I am is in the “imperfect” tense, meaning I was, I am, and I shall always be. It also signifies that God is complete in Himself. He is the source of all being and all other attributes are contained in this title that represents the eternal and mighty nature of God. (100 Portraits of Christ, 1987, SP Publications, Wheaton, IL, 45).
And here, in a debate with the Jews, Jesus does a wordplay and tells them, “Before Abraham was, I Am”.
To repeat myself, if I had been there with the Jews, I might have been tempted to pick up a stone myself.
There are few things more important than a person’s soul and their eternity. There are few things more important than a person’s eternal destination and their relationship with God. For a person to come along and mess with that, for a person to come along and lead people astray to where they end up separated from God for all eternity, there is no lower a person in the world than that. I tell you, such people really are what Jesus called these Jews. They are children of the Devil, and worthy of condemnation.
And while I’m on the subject, I want you to know that parents who fail to teach their children about the Lord, or who sow seeds of doubts in their minds, one day they are going to pay a terrible price for what they have done.
As the Israelites were first heading into the promised land, God gave them a command we read beginning in Deuteronomy 6:1.
> Deuteronomy 6:1-9 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
God promised He would bless their land if they loved and served Him, and He told parents to teach their children about Him as they were rising up and as they were going out. As they were lying down and as they were getting up.
He said, teach your children about Me all the time. Don’t let them forget, or it’s going to mess your children and your country up.