The Gospel of John
Before Abraham Was, I Am
Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.
- The confrontation with religious authorities continues in the temple, likely still in the court of women.
- Jesus’ opponents, after hearing Him say that they are of their father the devil, accuse Jesus of being a hated, religiously errant, Samaritan and also of having a demon Himself.
- Jesus immediately denies such a possibility and restates that He in fact honors the Father. Plus, that He seeks the glory of His Father and not His own.
- Then most shockingly, Jesus states that if anyone keeps His word they will not experience death. And by death, He is referring to eternal and conscience separation from God. (see Luke 16:19–31)
- Jesus’ hearers do not understand and retaliate with the fact that Abraham is already dead, which to them confirms their notion that Jesus has a demon.
- Once again Jesus states He does not seek His own glory.
- If Jesus were to deny His relationship with God the Father He would be a liar like His listeners were.
- Jesus even states that Abraham rejoiced that he would see the day when He would be incarnated.
- To those hearing Jesus’ words, they cannot possibly grasp the meaning of His words.
- Now comes the 3rd of the “I Am” sayings: “before Abraham was, I am.” Here is the ego eimi based on Exodus 3:14. Jesus states He is in fact God.
- The reaction, which His opponents thought quite proper in the face of what they considered blasphemy, would be to kill Jesus by stoning.