Weekly Devotion – John 8:58
By Mike Caton
John 8:58, “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
The Jews exclaim that Jesus has seen Abraham. This is something they cannot believe or understand. In my mind, I picture Jesus saying these words with utter calmness, no raising of his voice, no shouting, no pointing a finger into their chests, no arrogance, no boasting, Jesus just calmly and clearly makes his point. Before Abraham was born, I am.
Jesus is doing far more than simply telling his age here. Jesus is telling them that he has always existed, that before the beginning he was there. And so, Jesus has seen everything; he was there for creation, for that first sin, for Cain and Abel, for Noah and the flood, for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for the slavery in Egypt, for Moses, for Joshua, and so forth. Jesus was there. But more than just that he was there, Jesus said I am. Where have we heard that phrase before? When Moses faced the burning bush in the desert and he asked God who he could tell the Egyptians had sent him, that was the answer. God said, I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites; I AM has sent me to you, Exodus 3:14. In saying this, the Jews would immediately recognize that Jesus was claiming to be God himself. God is not limited in anyway, as we are; not limited by time or space (or anything else).
Do we realize Jesus is I AM? That he is God himself, come in the flesh to live on this earth, to set an example for us to follow, but more importantly to be the sacrifice for our sin? Do we see Jesus as just a good man, a great teacher, a wonderful example, or do we see him as God himself? That is the most important question you will ever answer, so choose carefully.
Father, thank you for coming for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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