John Chapter 8:48-59
The Jews answered him, "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?" 49 Jesus answered, "I have not a demon; but I honor my
Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it and he will be the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if
any one keeps my word, he will never see death." 52 The Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets; and
you say, 'If any one keeps my word, he will never taste death.' 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do
you claim to be?" 54 Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God.
55 But you have not known him; I know him. If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your
father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad." 57 The Jews then said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have
you seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." 59 So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus
hid himself, and went out of the temple.
These verses sum up the discussion, in a way. I have seen many refutations of these verses by many Scholars of different faiths and backgrounds, but
they just don't make any sense. Here the Jews, Pharisees and Sadducees in tow I can assure you, are questioning Jesus about the things He has said and
done by accusing Him of being demon possessed. They ask Him if He's greater than Abraham and the prophets. Just as a note for those who might not know
the history, Abraham is considered the Patriarch of the Jews. He was specifically chosen by God, called out of Ur into a land God had set aside for
Him. God then made a covenant with Abraham, a special convenant that promised a great nation, prosperity, and evetually a Savior for His specific
people (and everyone else in the world as well). Jesus then makes it clear that He is claiming to have the authority of the Father behind Him,and that
the Father seeks His Glory. Jesus claims to know the Father personally, and to do His will. There was no human in existence before or after that could
do both of these things pefectly, so that definitely speaks to Him not being your typlical run of the mill human being. Only God could keep the law.
But I digress. The text in John then takes it one step further. Upon the Jews asking incredulously how He could know anything about Abraham
specifically (they say He's not even fifty....IE He shouldn't even have all of the life experience He needs to be a wise man, much less know anything
of the Patriarch of their race/religion who hasn't lived for thousands of years, was chosen by God, etc), Jesus responds with a very clear and
definitive statement: "Before Abraham was, I am." At this point, the Jews are now taking up rocks to stone Him to death. Why, do you ask?
Because Jesus has now committed BLASPHEMY! By using the Name of God ( I am), and claiming to be before Abraham, He has now equated Himself with the
Father both in holiness and eternal existence. The Jews knew what He was saying, which is why they stopped their quesioning and took what they saw as
the proper action towards a man who would claim to be God. Understand that this was a very, very serious offense at that time. Jesus, being a devout
Jew and a Rabbi, would have been exremely well versed in both the old testament laws and scriptures. In other words, this wasn't a clever play on
words or a mistake. Jesus knew exactly what He was saying, and what He was claiming to be. He also likely knew what the reaction would be, but He
still didn't hold back His words. This leaves us with only three conclusions: Jesus was an idiot, Jesus was insane, or Jesus was truly the Son of God.
We can defnitely rule out an idiot based on His wise teaching that even Gandhi saw merit in, and His way of amazing even the most learned of the
Rabbi(s?) in the temple with His understanding of God's word. That leaves insane or Son of God. Once again, I think Him being insane can obviously be
ruled out. That leaves only one conclusion, that He was the Son of God. Once again, I want to reiterate that I have heard the arguments against the I
am verse, but they just don't hold up when you examine the passage considering the context, culture, and history of the Jews.
NOTE: I'm sure some of you would consider a fourth and a fifth option. 4- That Jesus was a clever deceiver, or
5- That Jesus didn't exist. Understand that while I respect your right to your own opinion, and your right to freedom of religion, this is my life. I
believe whole-heartedly in the Divinity of Christ, the veracity of the Bible, and I look forward to being in heaven with God one day. These 4th and
5th options were never even a consideration in my mind, not to mention that the clever deceiver just doesn't fit with Jesus' character
Also, sorry for such a short and scatterbrained source. I am at work, and don't have the time to fully devote my brain to this subject. It is a
difficult one with much to be discussed, but I think this is a good summary.
edit on 20-1-2011 by one_man24 because: for spelling, grammar,
etc. It's still terrible, but this isn't an english paper
edit on 20-1-2011 by one_man24 because: more typos