Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jesus speaking in the Temple near the treasury.

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 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me. They said to him therefore, Where is your Father? Jesus answered, You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.  These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. 
So he said to them again, I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.  So the Jews said, Will he kill himself, since he says, Where I am going, you cannot come?  He said to them, You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.  So they said to him, Who are you? Jesus said to them, Just what I have been telling you from the beginning.  I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.  They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said to them, When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.  And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.  As he was saying these things, many believed in him.       –– John 8:18-30
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In the above few verses Jesus is speaking in the temple near the treasury.  It is obvious that He was telling the listeners that He was the Messiah.  No one arrested Him at this time because it was not time for His arrest and crucifixion yet. The ministry and miracles of Jesus did not happen according to accidental circumstances, it all went according to the plan of a sovereign God.  The word I am  occur a number of times in these verses.  I have highlighted the ones that my ESVST Bible indicates are "ego eimi" occurrences.

Jesus had previously stated that He was the light of the world.  The Pharisees challenged Him for His self - declaration. He had no proof of His statement.  He made the statement Himself with no one to back it up.  John 12:17  The Pharisees told Jesus anyone could claim anything about themselves and it doesn't make the statement true.  They need someone else to back up the statement. Jesus says that His testimony is not unsupported. Jesus tells them that His Father will bear witness about Him.  John 8:18  They ask Jesus, "Who are you that you can make this unsubstantiated statement about yourself?"  His answer begins this passage of Scripture. " I am the one who bears witness about myself."  "ego eimi"  He is the eternal One.

The religious leaders did not believe the divine origin of Jesus, they considered Him to be a fake Messiah.  They were concerned that He would make their situation with Rome much worse for them. The angry Pharisees respond by cynically asking, Where is your Father?  The Pharisees slam Jesus with an  insult. They insinuate the illegitimate birth of Jesus, and they know that Joseph is dead.  Jesus tell them, You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.  John 8:19  Jesus ignores the insult. He rebukes them by pointing out that anyone who believed that Joseph was His father did not know His real Father.  Furthermore they did not know God.  Jesus here stresses that the Father is known through the Son and that to know one is to know the other.

So he said to them again, I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.  So the Jews said, Will he kill himself, since he says, Where I am going, you cannot come?  John 8:21-22 Maybe it is just my thinking, but I think the Pharisees are really being quite snippy. They can not really be that obtuse.  They were mocking Christ. They suggested that He could suicide, then in death they could not follow Him.  Jewish tradition condemned suicide as a horrible sin that would result in permanent banishment to the worst part of Hades.   Jesus is telling them of his impending death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father.  Jesus was going to die, but at their hands.  Jesus was willingly going to become a sacrifice for His people. Where He was going was heaven.  He was going to prepare a place for those who loved Him. They were not going there unless they they knew Him and His Father.

You are of this world;  I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.  John 8:23-24  There are two more I AM -" ego eimi" statements in this sentence.  We are from below. We are are sinners. We do not like to hear this, but we are.  Like the Pharisees, we sometimes are unwilling to believe that we might be wrong.
Jesus is from above.  He reigns in Heaven and sits at the right hand of God.  The Pharisees had accused Jesus as being a sinner on a number of occasions, but He is the only Man without sin.  Jesus told them that they would die in their sin. The word used for sin is αμαρτια hamartia. This word means to wander from the path of uprightness and honor  to do or go wrong to wander from the law of God, violate God's law,  sin, an offense,  a violation of the divine law in thought or in act collectively.  for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.  Every person is a sinner. One must believe in Jesus as Savior to have eternal life.  Only he who serves Christ as their Lord is forgiven of their sins.  The I AM He, statement of Jesus is an "ego eimi" statement. I AM from the beginning, and forever.

When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.  John 8:28-29  The expression "lifted up" was well known at that time.  It signified crucifixion.  Jesus was not telling the Pharisees they would all believe in Him after His crucifixion. Jesus is telling them that His claims would be proven by His crucifixion and resurrection.  Jesus was telling the Pharisees that God is His Father. Jesus told them that His death would glorify His Father.  Jesus would submit to His Father and do what was pleasing to God.

Jesus very plainly told His listeners who He was.  Some understood Him, some did not.  It is the same today, some people hear the words of Jesus and take them to heart.  Some people do not even listen to His words.  Some hear His words and get angry about them.  There were those who heard Jesus that day and "believed in Him."  Which person are you?


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Dear friends, I hope that these devotions/Bible studies are helpful to you.  I have found that I am running behind in preparing them.  Situations may prevent me from preparing one for each weekday. When I began this blog several years ago the blog was only a Scripture reference, a comment anda quotation.  Most of those have been deleted from the blog.  I do want to continue as often as I can.  I have the rough drafts for 3 more I am working on.  I am not quitting –– just catching up.

There is a place after each blog to make a comment, please take the time to do that now and then.  It would be good to know if anyone is out there and stopping by.

Thanks,
Phillip








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