This week we will study John 8:51–59. Let’s read the passage, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”
Never See Death
In this blog, we will discuss Jesus hiding Himself and leaving the temple. This week we are studying John 8:51–59. In this passage, Jesus made two clear deity claims. We will also discuss what Jesus may have meant when He said that Abraham saw Jesus’ day. Also, what it meant when Jesus said that if you keep His Word you will never see death. Jesus was offering them eternal life, but He was not just offering it to them, He is also offering it to us. You may have already trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior and understand that when Jesus said if anyone keeps His Word, He is referring to turning away from your sins (repentance), turning to Jesus, and trusting Him as Lord and Savior of your life. If you have any questions about salvation or what the Bible says about being saved and living forever, you can click the link https://www.biblicalencouragement.org/2022/08/14/who-is-your-father-john-838-4/ that will take you to the Biblical explanation of how to be saved and live forever in His presence. If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out to a local pastor or send me a message.
Are You Greater Than The Prophets?
The Jews answered Jesus and said, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets”. This is a reference to what Jesus had just told them about never dying. They did not think that there was any way Jesus was greater than Abraham and the prophets, which was what they thought when He said, anyone who keeps His word would never see death. They were set in their ways and had made Abraham and the prophets greater than everyone. Even to the point, where they missed the One that Abraham and all the prophets were pointing to. Jesus was the One that Abraham and the prophets pointed to, the Messiah, Son of God, that came to save us all. He did many signs that people today claim would have been enough for them to believe if they could only see. Many signs and wonders still happen every day, we just need to trust Jesus to see them.
Who is Jesus?
They asked Jesus, who He makes Himself out to be. Jesus responded, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’”. This is the first deity claim of the passage, while at the same time revealing who He had been calling His Father throughout John chapter eight, before this the Jews thought that Jesus was talking about Joseph (John 8:27). He said, God is His Father and that may not sound like a deity claim to our twenty-first-century ears, but to the Jews that was certainly a deity claim. Jesus continued by saying, “But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I woulbe a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.” Keep in mind that these were Jews and Pharisees in the treasury of the temple, they would have been the most religious men in all of Jerusalem. Yet, Jesus said that they do not keep God’s word and do not know God.
Abraham Saw Jesus’ Day?
Jesus then goes on to say, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” There are several theories as to what this meant, but they all come back to Abraham seeing it through faith and hope. This means Abraham saw it in faith, He was the first to reason unto the resurrection, centuries before it ever occurred (Hebrews 11:17–19). When you look back at the account of Abraham’s story, you see the gospel all throughout it and the foreshadowing of what Jesus did and fulfilled. The Jews responded to Jesus by asking, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”. The Jews knew it was impossible for Abraham and Jesus to meet, but Jesus said that Abraham saw His day. Because nothing is impossible for our God and Jesus was in heaven with Abraham before Jesus came to earth. Jesus responded to their confusion and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am”. To us today, this may sound less significant than it actually is, Jesus did not just mean that He was before Abraham, because one of the names, God gave Himself in the Old Testament was I AM. I AM is one of the most sacred names of God. This is the second deity claim of this passage. If the original language was not so clear, they could have just written Jesus off as a crazy person, who thought He knew father Abraham and was the Son of God. But, Jesus was in His right mind and had just claimed to be God and He was.
He Hid Himself
Claiming to be God was an offense that deserved death according to the Jews. So, they picked up stones, to stone Him. But, He hid Himself from them and left the temple. That is fascinating, He would have been sitting in the Temple teaching, there would have been very few places to hide. Which is why many think something supernatural happened, like them becoming confused, which allowed Him to just walk out, His appearance could have changed, or He could have just been somewhere else instantly. I mean there are so many possibilities of how Jesus could have hidden from them. I love to think about this and reason through it, it is mostly a pointless exercise, because if we were supposed to know, it would be recorded, but it is still interesting to think about. Going back to the two deity claims in this passage, Jesus often and clearly claimed to be God in many passages. So, you have to decide whether He is God and the Messiah or He is not. Those are the only two options and it is the most important decision you could ever make and you have to decide for yourself. If you would like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, all you have to do is, admit that you are a sinner, repent of your sins (repent means turn away), and believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and God raised Him from the dead, then confess Him as Lord and Savior of your life (Romans 10:9). For more verse by verse Bible studies just like this join our newsletter https://www.biblicalencouragement.org/join-our-newsletter/