I woke up this morning and realized I got busy first thing yesterday and forgot to write this. Sorry.
John 8:48-59; 2 Chronicles 5:2-14; Malachi 2:10-4:7
“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’ Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. (John 8:58-59 NKJV)
I often hear people who deny the divinity of Christ claim that Jesus never said that He was God. I would guess that they either didn’t read these verses or they didn’t understand them. Thirty-three year old Jesus was making the claim that Abraham rejoiced to see His day. The Pharisees pointed out that Abraham had died a few years before Jesus was born. At that point, Jesus pulled out His trump card: “I AM.” He deliberately used the Hebrew name for God that was told to Moses at the burning bush. Even using the name was bad enough, since the Jews refused to say that name lest they somehow take it in vain. But here, Jesus took the name for Himself. The religious leaders thought He did because they were ready to stone Him right there and then.
Jesus made a bold claim while making an even bolder claim that God the Father, HIS Father, would back Him up on the claim. That claim is so outlandish that there are only two ways to respond to it: first you can reject Jesus and His teachings as the ravings of a lunatic, or second, you can believe Him and call Him Lord. Looking back, we can see that Jesus was telling the truth. His Father did back Him up and ultimate support was shown in His resurrection. His resurrection changed the course of human history. When Christians reflect and share His love, there is no greater force for good in the world. When Christians try to run the world, we run into the same problems the Pharisees had. Let’s focus on sharing God’s love and grace and not worry so much with telling people how to run their lives. We’ll see a much better world.
Lord, help me to share Your love and grace just as You shared it with me. Let all Your people change the world by sharing Your love.