Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
John chapter 8 opens with the Pharisees’ suggestion to stone the woman caught in adultery. The chapter closes when the Pharisees decide to stone Jesus.
Between that unhappy opening and the murderous closing, Jesus made three big claims for himself. Let’s look at them.
Jesus’ first claim was, “I am the light of the world” (v. 12). The people responded, “What? It’s not credible for you to make big claims like that! That’s what liars and insane people do. You need a reliable, external witness as proof.” “Well,” said Jesus, “that external witness would be God. And since I come from him, I can be my own witness.” That didn’t convince anyone.
Then Jesus said, “I am going away, and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. You can’t come where I am going.” “Really?” they said. “Where are you going? Are you going kill yourself? Who do you think you are?” Jesus replied with his second big claim: “I am the son of God my Father.” Some people believed him, but many felt he was delusional.
Then Jesus said, “If you accept my teaching, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The people responded, “We are Abraham’s descendents, we’ve never been slaves to anyone. We don’t need you to set us free.” Jesus replied, “On the contrary, you’re all slaves to sin. You’re not in Abraham’s family. Your father is the devil!” The people replied, “Who us? No way! You are demon-possessed. How can you know Abraham? You’re not even 50!” Jesus responded with his third big claim, “Before Abraham was, I am.”
Did you hear that? Listen again to Jesus’ words: “I AM.”
“I AM” is an important Old Testament name for God. The people listened when Jesus claimed to be the light of the world. They listened when he said God was his father. But when he appropriated for himself the holiest name of God, the Pharisees had enough. To protect God’s honor, they picked up rocks to stone Jesus, but he walked away and hid himself.
Jesus, we believe your claims about yourself.
We receive you as the light of the world. Often, we walk in darkness and confusion, not not sure how to love you and others, not sure how to grow spiritually, not sure of our way through this valley of shadows. Do we need more Bible study? More faith? More service to you and others? Jesus, light our way, show us the way to God.
Jesus, we receive you as the Son of God. Your relationship to God is different than the rest of us humans. As John said of you, “God loved the world so much he sent his only son” (John 3:16). You were God’s son when Abraham was a wandering pioneer; you will be God’s son long after the world spins into its unknown future.
Jesus, we receive you as the only human who could ever say, “I AM” about yourself. You lived as a son of Mary, you worked as a carpenter; but you spoke and taught and died and lived again as one who came from God.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.