Monday, 11 June 2012

Jesus = I AM.

In early May I had the privilege of preaching the last section of John 8.

The passage is well known for Jesus' huge claim "Before Abraham was, I am." It is often said, correctly, and quite simply that Jesus is claiming to be God. But, it is much more profound, clear and bold than that.

The points I brought out of the passage and some very brief notes are below. Jesus makes 2 huge statements which begin "Truly, Truly..." and they formed the basis of the sermon.

Jesus is the only way of salvation
Looking at the declaration “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” Jesus says if we follow Him, keeping His word, we will enjoy eternal life. This is huge for the Pharisees, and those listening, who have already been at odds with Jesus, because they know that Abraham and all the prophets died. They firmly believe that those guys kept the word of God, so for Jesus to be claiming this is massive.
But Jesus' word is the word of the Father, and He Himself is the Word (John 1v1). Jesus' humility is clearly seen in the fact that He is not glorifying or testifying about Himself, but His Father does it.
The Father, who the Jews claim as their God, glorifies Jesus. The harsh truth for those listening is that if they reject Jesus, they reject the Father whom thy claim to as their God. Jesus has already said earlier in the chapter that it they knew the Father they would love Him.
The question for us is, do we love Jesus? Or do we love tradition, law-keeping, biblical knowledge or doctrinal rigour rather than loving Jesus?

Jesus is I AM
The second declaration really riles the leaders and their response of wanting to kill Him shows just how riled they were.
The key to this one lies back in the OT.
If you go back to Exodus chapter 3 where the LORD reveals Himself to Moses in the burning bush you will notice something incredible. The Angel of the LORD is in the bush, but then it is the LORD who speaks to Moses! Jesus is saying to the religious leaders that it was Him in the bush speaking to Moses. Jesus is I AM!
John is wanting us, in the whole of His gospel, aiming to show us Jesus so that we may know that He is the Son of God and that by believing in Him we may have life in His name (ch20v31).
So we need to ask ourselves here, what is our response to Jesus?
The religious leaders, shockingly, want to get rid of Him completely.
Where do you stand? Jesus is telling you that He is the second person of the One Triune God, and that through Him you may have life, which is know Him and love Him.
Will you accept it?

The transcript is here and the sermon audio can be found in the Sermons and Talks tab at the top of the page.

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