"Who do you think you are?"
"Who do you think you are?"
Words of Faith 11-14-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."
 At this the Jews exclaimed, "Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death.  Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?"
 Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.  Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.  Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."
 "You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"
 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"  At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
Who was Jesus? This was the burning question in Jerusalem.
There were two main political-religious “parties” in Jerusalem, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees taught that good works fulfilling the Law earned eternal life. The Sadducees did not believe in eternal life at all! The idea of receiving eternal life by believing and keeping Jesus’ word was absurd to both groups and set them reeling. Those opposing Jesus now felt for sure that he was demon-possessed. "You are not greater than our father Abraham, are you? After all, Abraham and the prophets had all died!”
“Who do you think you are?” That was the core question. Rather than speculate about whom we think Jesus might be. Why not ask Him? In response, Jesus pointed out that He did not come to glorify himself but it was the Father who glorified Him. Then Jesus shared some insider knowledge. Not only did he know the Father but he also knew Abraham! “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." This was even more baffling to the opposition. "You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?"
"I tell you the truth before Abraham was born, I am!" Jesus used a phrase could only mean a claim to deity. "I am" implies continuous existence, including existence when Abraham appeared. Jesus was saying that at the time of Abraham's birth, he existed. “I AM” was also recognized by the Jews as the title of deity. When God called Moses to demand from Pharaoh the release of the Israelites, he said, "This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you" (Exod 3:14).
Well, there it was. You wanted to know who Jesus was, now you know! Jesus’ opponents were furious. The crowd unmistakably understood Jesus' words as a blasphemous claim and immediately picked up stones to stone him. He did not protest their action as a mistake of judgment. He simply withdrew “slipping away from the temple grounds”. How he managed to escape their wrath is not explained but certainly lends credence to His claim. Clearly "his time had not yet come" (John 7:30; Luke 4:30). God was in charge.
So who was Jesus? Who is Jesus? Who did He claim to be? He claimed to be God, equal to the Father. There can be no denying this. The people had only two options: Place their faith in Jesus (8:30) or stone him (8:59). There was no option of asserting that Jesus was a great teacher or religious reformer. This did not occur to those who met Him and heard His words. That was not His claim. He refused any such place. He claimed to be God.
We are faced with the same sort of decision. We must discern if Jesus was telling the truth or not. We cannot conclude that Jesus was a great teacher or religious reformer because He simply never offered us that option. C.S. Lewis concluded from a more modern perspective that Jesus is either the Lord, a Liar or a Lunatic. There are no other options based on His self-description and claims. Since nothing in His character, historical documentation or ministry supports that He was either a Liar or Lunatic, we can only come to one conclusion. He is the Lord.
Now the final question. Is He you Lord?
You are Lord, Jesus. You are Lord. You are my Lord, Jesus, mine! I surrender to You. Rule my life by the power and leading of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name.
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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.