Saturday Morning: 02 Feb 2019 – John 8:48-59 ~ Who do you think you are?

Saturday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 8:48-59 (NLT)

The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?”

“No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me. And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge. I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”

The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”

The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.
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Morning Reflection:

In yesterday’s reading, Jesus accused his detractors of being children of their father the devil. And today, his detractors respond – Back at you! “Who do you think you are?”

At the center of the controversy is Jesus’ authority to promise eternal life.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”
– John 8:54

So, who does Jesus say he is? Steven J. Cole (Retired Pastor, Flagstaff Christian Fellowship) makes five observations –

  1. Jesus claims to honor His Father and seek His glory. (John 8:49-50)
  2. Jesus claims that the Father seeks His glory. (John 8:54)
  3. Jesus claims to know the Father and keep His word. (John 8:55)
  4. Jesus claims that Abraham rejoiced to see His day. (John 8:56)
  5. Jesus claims to be God. (John 8:58)

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!”
– John 8:58

That was their breaking point – blasphemy! – and they picked up stones to throw at him!

Why the violent reaction? Because Jesus’ claims “nuked” their entire worldview – everything they thought they knew about God, themselves, their religion, and the society that was built around their beliefs. It was a paradigm shift of seismic proportion.

And so it is today, in an increasingly secular world void of Biblical understanding, the claims of Jesus destroy the order of the unbelieving world – designed by, and for the benefit of, the father of lies.

Questions for consideration:

  • How do you respond to the claims of Jesus listed above? How do any or all of them affect your life? Please explain?
  • What do you think is the relationship between faith, obedience, and eternal life? Please explain?
  • Can you think of examples where the claims of Jesus have provoked a violent response? Please explain.
  • What effect has the potential for a violent, or even negative, response had on your Christian witness? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Almighty God – I AM WHO I AM – you have sent your Son, Jesus Christ, into the world with the gift of eternal life for all who believe in him. Fill me with a sense of wonder and amazement that you would include me among your children – saved by grace through faith. And write your Word on my heart that I might faithfully love and serve you, and bear witness to your name – whether it’s the popular thing to do or not. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen.
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“Great I Am” – New Life Worship

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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