Who do you claim to be?

The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be? ... Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. -John 8:52,53,56-59 NRSV

With these words Jesus ends his interaction with the Jewish leaders. They claimed to be the true seed of Abraham while Jesus called them children of the father of lies. In response they called Jesus a demonized Samaritan. And now, with one breathtaking declaration, Jesus reveals the truth of who he really is. And the Jews understood him perfectly.

They understood that, with the words "I Am", Jesus was claiming to be God. This declaration is hard to get our minds around. It is difficult to understand the idea of the infinite God becoming a finite man. Yet the testimony is not from one of his followers but from Jesus himself. And our choice is to either believe him or pick up a stone to cast at him.

With the writers of the Nicene Creed we confess our belief "in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made. Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man."

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

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