Suggested Scripture Reading: John 8:58
Devotional Thoughts: In order to fully understand the words of Jesus in today’s passage, we must consider the entire conversation He had with the Jews. Looking back at John 8:31, 32, Jesus was sharing that He alone could set a person free from the bondage of sin. The subsequent verses provide the interaction between Jesus and the Jews culminating with His proclamation in verse 58 that He is God.
The interaction with the Jews starts with Jesus providing the solution to man’s greatest need, freedom from sin. When told this by Jesus, the Jews responded that they were children of Abraham. It is interesting that Jesus was speaking of spiritual matters and they responded with something of the physical world. Don’t you find people do the same thing today? When a person is asked by what merit will they enter heaven, they often give examples of things they have done to earn God’s favor.
Jesus responded (v34) that anyone who sins is a slave to sin. That would encompass 100% of all mankind. In Romans 3:23 we read that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All of mankind has missed the mark and therefore cannot meet the standard set forth by God. Yet so often like the Jews in today’s passage, we compare ourselves to other people rather than the standard set by God Himself. We further learn in Romans 6:23 that the wages (or earnings) of sin is death. This death refers to permanent separation from God, which is the ultimate punishment that will be handed out to those that are not true children of God.
Through the ensuing verses we see the back and forth between the Jews and Jesus. The Jews continually came back to their standing with God was based upon their heritage as children of Abraham. Jesus points them to His relationship to God and that Jesus is the Son of God. He raises the bar by showing the Jews standard is Abraham, yet Jesus is far superior to Abraham. In Philippians 2:5-8, the apostle Paul shares that Jesus gave us the ultimate example of humility by leaving the presence of God the Father in heaven and coming to earth in the form of a man to be a sacrifice for our sins.
The conversation is coming to a climax. The Jews ask the most important question that all of us must ultimately answer. In verse 53, they ask, “Jesus who are you?” This is the question that everyone who lives on earth must answer and one day will give an account to God. Philippians 2:10 tells us that every knee will bow at the name of Jesus. God has made Himself known to us and offered His free gift of eternal life. Each one of us has the choice to humble himself before God and accept Jesus as his Savior. For those that do not make this choice, they too will one day bow before Jesus and proclaim Him as God. Sadly, at that point they will then face the wrath of God.
Jesus responded to the Jews in verse 58 and proclaimed, “before Abraham was, I am.”
Immediately the Jews recognized that Jesus was proclaiming that He was equal with God. In the Old Testament when Moses met God at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14), God announces His name is I AM. Thus, the Jews were quick to understand that Jesus was answering their question by stating not only was He greater than Abraham, but He was actually equal with God the Father. Jesus made similar statements in John 5:18,23 and Mark 14:62. The apostle John summarizes his writing in John 20:30 by stating the works of Jesus of which he wrote were written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing you may have life in His name.
1. Can you recall a specific time when you accepted Jesus as your Savior?
2. What are you doing to share the good news of Jesus with those that do not know Him?
3. Do you exhibit the fruits of a child of God? (See Galatians 5:22,23)
The mission of Cambridge Christian School is to glorify God in all that we do; to demonstrate excellence at every level of academic, athletic, and artistic involvement; to develop strength of character; and to serve the local and global community.