Before Abraham was I am.
40 blogs of Lent – day 12
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did,40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” John 8:39-41.
The phrase,”We were not born of sexual immorality,” must have hurt. Reminding Jesus that the legitimacy of his birth has alway
s been questioned. “We are true descendants of Abraham,” they were saying, “Unlike a bastard like you.”
If you can’t win an argument by putting forward propositions then insult people. It works for politicians now and it has evidently been going on for a long time. There is nothing new under the sun.
As for the Abraham issue, Jesus had already agreed in verse that those he was speaking to were children of Abraham, directly descended from Abraham, but his message is not about physical descent: Here he is talking about freedom.
Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“If the son makes you free you will be free indeed.” John 8:31-32,36
How you behave reflects who you really are. If you are spiritually a child of Abraham you will act like Abraham, who loved and followed God no matter what the cost to himself and his family.
If you follow yourself then you will show the signs of selfishness, arrogance and greed.
If you are full of hate then you are a child of the one who hates.
How we react shows whose child we are. But there is a way out: Jesus. Jesus offers to free us from this. He can take us from the selfishness that makes us habitually less than good, and from being a slave to Satan that urges us to do hateful things and can give us the freedom to act loving to people as God is loving. The secret is not just a one off prayer that makes us Christians, even though that was my way in to Jesus, and I recommend it as a way to Jesus and a way in to being a child of God. The secret is living in Jesus, it is a lifestyle. Living in Jesus, continually being in his presence, feeling how he feels about the word, rejoicing in what God finds good and weeping over what saddens him.
Coming to Jesus is not only something we need to do just once — although we need to do that — it is something we need to do continually.
Jesus offers this not because like the Jews he is a descendant of Abraham. He said to those who were proud of their ancestry and questioned his that he was before Abraham, directly from God. Before Abraham was I am. he said. “I am” not “I was” because the God who created the universe, and who appeared to Moses and led a people out of slavery to freedom is the sane as the Galilean carpenter who offers freedom.
Do you want the freedom God gives?