Who Do You Make Yourself out to Be?

Bruce Fiol

READ : John 8:53-59

Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I am. (v. 53)

Messing with a hero’s name is dangerous business. Jesus claims to be greater than
Abraham, the father of the faithful. But Jesus didn’t stop there. He explicitly claimed to
be the God of Abraham!

Some wanted to kill him (v. 59). Blasphemy was a capital offense. Jews regarded God’s
name as so sacred they would never even pronounce it, for fear they might inadvertently
break the Third Commandment by misusing it.

Jesus claims to be eternal—alive even before Abraham. But he goes further. He
takes God’s personal name for himself: “Before Abraham was, I am“ (v. 58). A thousand
years earlier God introduced himself to Moses in the most intimate terms: “I AM WHO I AM”
(Exod. 3:14). There was no doubt Jesus was claiming to be Abraham’s God, Moses’ God,
everyone’s God!

If you had heard Jesus make that bold claim, how would you have reacted? Probably the
same way most of his audience did. “They picked up stones to stone him” (v. 59). Unless,
of course, you actually believed him.

Think about it. If Jesus is God, to regard him as anything less is to misuse his name.
Most in that crowd bent down to pick up a stone. There’s no stone in your hand, is


Eternal Father, may we increasingly trust Jesus, the great “I AM.”