“Before Abraham was, I am”- 5th Week of Lent – Thursday- John 8:51-59
Quite clearly, the Jews seem to have lost it. Now they have nothing concrete to accuse Jesus of, so they call Him a Samaritan (8:48) and claim that He is possessed. Previously in the same chapter they insinuated that He was of illegitimate birth. But nothing stops Jesus from declaring who He is, the great “I Am”. He declares before all, ” Before Abraham was, ” I am.” To the twenty first century mind, “I Am” sounds like conjugation in grammar. Not to a Jew!
Notice that Jesus does not say, ‘before Abraham was, I was’ He says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” The first Jew to hear these words was Moses. In Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.'” The Jews who heard Jesus proclaim these words, knew right away that Jesus was claiming to be God.
Any one claiming to bear the divine name of God would incur only one punishment; death by stoning! This was the punishment for blasphemy and it was no wonder that they picked up stones to throw at Him.
John’s gospel is the only one to have the ‘I Am’ statements of Jesus; seven of them! This is John’s presentation of Jesus. The “I Am” statements in the Fourth Gospel make known Jesus as the source of life and abundant grace; they signal the very presence of God.
Contrast these statements to the ‘I am NOT’ statements of John the Baptist in the beginning of the same gospel (1:20, 21, 27 and 3:28). John confesses, “I am not the Messiah, I am not Elijah, I am not worthy to untie the thongs of His sandals etc. John was clear about who he was not. Jesus is clear who He is.
It is undeniable who Jesus is claiming to be. He is God. Even the Jews understood what He was saying and that is why they picked up stones; they understood clearly that He was claiming to be God. Make no mistake, in all their hate, in all the name calling that we spoke of in paragraph one, by picking up the stones to stone Him, they acknowledge He is God.
So do we need more proof? What will it take us to bow down before His Majesty? Of late I have met many young people, caught up in their own excuses; they deny God and the faith. I truly agonize and ask myself what can I do to convince them otherwise?
The answer is in His Word. Read it, devour it, study it, and pour over it. God and His word are one; find the great ‘I Am’ there. And when you do, ‘knee-mail’ Him; He will be happy to hear from you.
Written on behalf of the Holy Spirit
Fr Warner D’Souza may be contacted on whatsap on +91- 9820242151.
If you miss your daily reflection, simply log into http://www.pottypadre.com/
Spread the love ♥