He is I AM

Posted: May 26, 2015 in John
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John 8:48-59, “He is I AM”

It was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.  For days, tensions had run high between Jesus and the Jews of Jerusalem, and particularly over the course of the current conversation.  Jesus had never once hidden the truth of His identity, but His way of addressing it had mostly been indirect.  No more.  This time Jesus allows no room for misunderstanding – no margin for error.  As the argument between Him and the Jews escalates, He gives the most direct statement to date about His identity: He is the Almighty God – He is I AM.

That statement is no less controversial today as it was the day Jesus declared it.  Then, the Jews picked up stones to kill Him for the charge of blasphemy.  Today, it is still so incredible that people go to great lengths trying to prove that Jesus didn’t really mean the things He said.  Cult groups either deny the truth of what Jesus claimed, or they flat-out mistranslate the Greek (as is the case with the Jehovah Witnesses).  Even secularists deny the words, claiming that there is no way the “historical” Jesus would have uttered them, but rather the church later invented it as a way to force people to their system of worship. 

Of course all these groups are wrong & demonstrably so.  A culture as steeped in religion as the Jews were does not suddenly come to a point where thousands of their number begin to worship a single man for no reason, as the Jews did on the day of Pentecost & following.  How is the church even born without a resurrected deified Jesus?  This cannot be a legend.  Legends need generations to pass in order to take root, but the church existed within months of the death of Jesus.  The church had a reason to be born: its Founder is alive.  He is the resurrected Jesus Christ, the Almighty Son of God.

Don’t let the title “Son” throw you.  Jesus had not once shied away from referring to Himself as the Son (and so He is), but that doesn’t change the fact that the Son of God is still God.  The Son is not the Father, but the Son is still I AM – God in all His fullness.  The Jews understood exactly what Jesus meant, which is why they picked up stones to kill Him.

We have to come to grips with the fact that Jesus is God.  This is what the Jews of Jerusalem were struggling so hard against, and this is what sent them over the edge when Jesus pronounced it so clearly.  If Jesus is God, then that changes everything.  If Jesus is God, then the Bible is true.  If Jesus is God, that means grace isn’t cheap.  If Jesus is God, that means His sacrifice upon the cross is infinite in scope and worth.  If Jesus is God, then we cannot simply play around with Christianity.  Jesus is God.  He is the I AM.

John 8:48–59
48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

  1. We need to keep in mind that our text picks up in the middle of a conversation, which means there is a context this is built upon.  What the Jews were “answering” was Jesus’ charge that they were children of the devil, doing Satan’s desires, and preferring lies to the truth.  Jesus and the Jews had gone back & forth on their ancestry and heritage.  They may have physically come from Abraham and inherited the covenant of God, but their spiritual actions betrayed their true loyalty and parentage…and it was demonic.  They rejected Jesus, and thus they did not recognize the work and Person of God among them.  By rebelling against Jesus, they were rebelling against God – the core of all Satanic acts.  They dwelt in deception instead of the truth, and they conspired to have Jesus killed.  All of it was reflective of demonic origins as the devil is a murderer and liar.
  2. So the Jews’ response to Jesus?  “I know You are, but what am I?”  Super mature, isn’t it?  Jesus said they were children of the devil, so they try to turn it around and accuse Jesus of being demon-possessed.  Earlier, they had questioned His parentage, trying to undermine Jesus’ credibility by insinuating He was an illegitimate child.  This time, they flat-out resort to name calling.  He was a “Samaritan” and had a “demon.”  In the 1st century Jewish mindset, these insults were virtually interchangeable.  Samaritans were considered half-breeds (at best) who openly engaged in demonic idolatry.  And apparently some lived up to this reputation, in the example of Simon Magus (Acts 8).  To the Jews, the Samaritans were the lowered of the low, fully deserving of all the scorn that could be heaped upon them.  Obviously Jesus did not feel the same way, and had already engaged in evangelistic ministry among the Samaritans – who (in no small irony) received Jesus far better than the Jews of Jerusalem. (Jn 4)  But for these Jews, all they wanted to do was heap insults upon Jesus, and they could think of nothing worse than to call Him a Samaritan, and a demon-possessed Samaritan to boot.
    1. The reaction of the Jews towards Jesus is the same reaction given towards God by many people today.  They don’t like the standards that God lays out in the Bible, and instead of humbling themselves in repentance, they just get mad.  They hurl insults and accusations against God, only cementing their own rebellion.  People don’t change, do they?  Thankfully, neither does God.  Just as Jesus would later go to the cross for these very people who insulted Him, so did He go to the cross for every atheist who hates God today.  He offers them the same salvation & same grace, if they would simply humble themselves, repent of their sin, and come to faith in Jesus as Lord.

49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges.

  1. Jesus says nothing about being called a Samaritan – perhaps He didn’t see it worthy of a response.  After all, He loved the Samaritans just like He loves the Jews, Gentiles, and all the people of the world.  When Jesus went to the cross, it wasn’t to save Jews alone, but Samaritans as well.  When raised from the dead, Jesus specifically instructed His disciples to take the gospel to the Samaritans after the Holy Spirit had come upon them (Acts 1).  The love of God has no racial boundaries.
    1. It still doesn’t!  All people everywhere need to hear the plan of salvation through Jesus: black, brown, white – cultural Christian, atheist, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, etc.  No group is excluded from the gospel; they just need someone to take it to them.
  2. The charge of demonism is different.  Jesus does respond to this, both denying He has a demon and warning the ones accusing Him of such that there is a God who judges.  They accused Him wrongly, imparting to the Son of God the works of the devil.  This comes dangerously close to blasphemy of another kind: the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  These Jews (like all people) would need to give an account to God for every word spoken – including the ones they spouted off in angry ignorance. (That ought to be a sobering thought!)
  3. The words of the Jews dishonored and insulted Jesus, but what did Jesus do?  He honored God.  The Jews may have thought they were responding tit-for-tat – after all, Jesus had said they were of the devil, so they said He had a demon.  Yet there is no equivalence here.  Jesus spoke the truth; they spoke a lie.  Jesus didn’t say what He said simply to be insulting and inflammatory – He said it to awaken their attention to the dangers they faced.  He wasn’t trying to pick a fight, He was trying to save their souls.  They responded by spitting in His face.  They spurned their Savior, dishonoring the One who loved them.
    1. People can rail against God, but it doesn’t change the truth.  Sin is still sin, no matter what people might like about it.  Perversion is still perversion – rebellion is still rebellion – deception is still deception – no matter who engages in it or whether it is “acceptable” in the sight of our culture.  Pornography may be legal, but that doesn’t make it right.  Likewise with abortion – it’s legal, but it’s legalized murder.  Culture does not determine what is/is not sin.  Sin is still sin – it still incurs the righteous wrath of God – and it still can be forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ.
  4. Again, we cannot forget the judgment.  Jesus offers to forgive, but those don’t believe upon Him as Lord and receive His forgiveness will face God for eternal judgment.  All the Jews who insulted the Son would one day face the Father.  Jesus honors the Father, and the Father seeks the “glory” of the Son.  If you dishonor my daughter, you will face the wrath of her daddy.  If that is expected in human relationships, how much more with God?  Beware that you do not dishonor the Son!

51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

  1. Jesus has spoken of judgment, but now speaks of a way to avoid judgment unto death.  He prefaces it with an “amen, amen” (translated “most assuredly”) underscoring the importance and truth of what He says.  How does one avoid death?  Keep the word of the Son.  Abide in His truth – believe the gospel.  This is a continuation of what Jesus said in 8:31, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”  The verbs are a little different, but the basic idea is the same: believe the word of the Son.  Those who do are truly free (8:32).  What does freedom look like?  Freedom from death.  Death is the foe that faces every person, yet death is something that need not be feared.  We can be free from death.  Death is something we don’t need to see.
  2. That doesn’t mean Christians don’t die – but death for the Christian is temporary.  We face death but for a moment – we look forward to eternal life, and that is promised to everyone who keeps the word of Jesus.  It is spiritual death that Jesus speaks of here, but the Jews misunderstand Jesus once again.  And this time, they aren’t too subtle in their disagreement…

52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

  1. The Jews totally ignore the warning about dishonoring the Son and facing the judgment of God.  They double-down on their insult, once more declaring Jesus to be demon-possessed.  The reason?  They think He’s crazy.  Jesus just told them that it wasn’t necessary to face death, and yet the people they revered the most were dead.  Abraham was the father of faith, known as a friend of God, openly declared by God to be righteous, and yet he was dead.  So was every prophet who came after him.  How could someone not face death through faith in Jesus if even Abraham was dead?  That’s just crazy-talk.
  2. Actually, the Jews were wrong about Abraham.  He obviously did die, but Abraham didn’t remain in death.  He was (and is) alive in the presence of God.  Jesus directly addresses this during a different conversation, when He counters the various tests of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  The Sadducees in particular tried to disprove the eternal life as represented in the resurrection, and Jesus responded to them with the example of Abraham.  Matthew 22:31–32, "(31) But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, (32) ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."  If God is the God of the living, then Abraham isn’t dead; he’s alive.
    1. That’s the hope we look forward to!  All who have faith in Christ are alive in the presence of God at the moment of their death.  We are absent from the body, but present with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8).  This is why we do not grieve as those who have no hope.  We grieve our loved ones when they die, but when they die in faith then they are not truly dead.  There is life beyond the grave for all who trust in Jesus.
    2. Question: if it is the one who keeps Jesus’ word that lives, how could Abraham escape death?  After all, he died over a thousand years prior to Jesus’ earthly ministry.  How could Abraham keep a gospel he had never heard?  Actually, he did hear it.  God promised a Messiah and covenant of grace (Gen 12, 15, 17, 22), and Abraham believed God & it was accounted to him for righteousness (Rom 4:3).  IOW, Abraham believed the gospel.  He looked forward in faith to the coming of Jesus, whereas we look backward in faith to Jesus’ resurrection.  Either way, we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  This is the one way anyone has been saved throughout history.
  3. The Jews didn’t only think Jesus was crazy – they thought He was egotistical.  Who was this upstart teacher?  He may be a rabbi with amazing power, but who was He compared to Abraham and the prophets?  Was He greater than they?  Actually, yes. J Jesus is infinitely greater than every one of the prophets who came in the past!  Jesus is greater than David, greater than Moses, greater than Abraham.  They were all men greatly used by God, but Jesus is God.
    1. Of course, this is exactly where this conversation is leading.  Jesus is God, and He is far greater than the prophets and patriarchs.  That isn’t egotistical on the part of Jesus; that’s just the truth.
  4. BTW – the Jews misquote Jesus a bit regarding tasting vs. seeing death, but the basic idea is the same.  They simply use a different word to convey the same meaning.  Where they really get Jesus wrong isn’t His words, but His message.  They thought Jesus was speaking of physical death (which all the prophets faced), when Jesus was speaking of spiritual death (which none of the prophets faced).

54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.

  1. Jesus wasn’t being egotistical – He wasn’t tooting His own horn.  He wasn’t trying to make Himself out to be greater than the prophets; He is greater than the prophets!  But they were missing the point.  As Jesus had repeatedly told them in this overall conversation, when they rejected Him, they rejected God.  They rejected their only hope for eternal salvation.  He just told them how they could escape eternal death, and they get hung up on His relation to the prophets.  They missed the forest for the trees.  Besides, Jesus wasn’t honoring Himself; His Father was.  In vs. 49 Jesus said that He honored the Father – in vs. 54 it is the Father who honors the Son.  The two go part & parcel together.  To receive the Father is to receive the Son & vice-versa.  Likewise, the opposite is true.  To reject the Son is to reject the Father, no matter what someone might claim.
  2. The Jews certainly claimed to know God.  They claimed to worship and obey Him.  Yet they rejected the Son whom the Father sent.  It doesn’t work that way.  If they had known the Father in truth, they would have recognized the Son in faith.  Their lack of faith in Jesus put the lie to their claim of worship.  It didn’t matter what they said their relationship with God was – without Jesus, it was nothing.  It was all a lie.
    1. How many people today try to do the same thing?  “Oh it’s OK – God & I have an understanding.  I don’t need to believe all that stuff in the Bible about Jesus.  I believe in God, and that’s enough.”  Wrong!  If you don’t believe in Jesus, you don’t believe in God.  Jesus is God.  Without Jesus, you have nothing.  Without Jesus, your hope is based upon a lie.  (But it can be based upon the truth…)
  3. Jesus wasn’t like the Jews in this regard.  When He claimed to know God, He spoke the truth.  In fact, He knew God in a way that the Jews could never know or understand.  They had no experience with the true God, but Jesus did.  He knows God the Father in an intimate way that truly none other can experience.  Jesus has always known the Father from eternity past.  Even born-again Christians cannot claim the same sort of knowledge and relationship with God.
    1. The amazing thing is that we are invited into this relationship with God at all!  We may not know Him from eternity past, but because of Jesus we will know Him for all eternity future.  We have a glorious future, all through the work and promise of Jesus!
  4. Obviously Jesus wasn’t going to lie about it.  He couldn’t claim anything different.  In the Jews’ rejection of Jesus’ claims, they were basically telling Him to lie. “Admit that Abraham is greater than You!  Admit that Your doctrine is demonic!”  To bow to the whims of the crowd and public pressure would be the true lie.  Jesus couldn’t do anything except tell the truth about God, and that is exactly what He did.  Jesus kept the word of God (just like we’re supposed to keep the word of Christ), and Jesus was faithful to the truth and the gospel.
  5. In regards to Abraham, Jesus knew a thing or two of which the Jews had no idea!  Vs. 56…

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

  1. Commentaries routinely claim ignorance about this statement from Jesus, and quite honestly, I have no idea as to why.  Jesus plainly says that Abraham rejoiced to see Jesus’ day, and was glad when it came.  Most commentaries state that they have no idea to what Jesus refers, and they speculate anything from Abrahamic visions unrecorded in the Scripture, to faith in the Messianic promises of God, to symbolically “seeing” Jesus when he saw the ram in the thicket as a replacement for Isaac’s sacrifice, and more.  To be blunt, it seems that these well-meaning Bible-believing scholars overlook the obvious.  Abraham DID see Jesus, then the Bible specifically records the event: Genesis 18, just prior to the Lord’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Genesis 18:1–2, "(1) Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. (2) So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground,"  Abraham goes on to prepare a feast as he spends time with the Lord and His angels.  He even has a conversation with God about showing mercy to the city of Sodom if only five righteous men could be found there (and there weren’t).  Now we know that no one has seen God the Father (Jn 1:18) – that God the Father is spirit & thus invisible (Jn 4:23).  The Bible is clear that Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15), and whenever men saw God in the Old Testament, they did not see God the Father, but the Angel of the Lord – who is the pre-incarnate Christ Jesus.  Thus when Genesis 18:1 says that the “LORD appeared” to Abraham, who was it that appeared?  Jesus – the pre-incarnate Christ, God the Son.  And this isn’t even the only possibility.  Every time the Lord appeared to Abraham even in a vision (such as Gen 17) was an occasion of the Son of God.  If it was visual, it was Jesus.  There are even some thoughts that the mysterious priest Melchizedek (Gen 14) was the pre-incarnate Christ Himself.  By all indications, Abraham saw Jesus repeatedly.
  2. In any case, when Abraham did see Jesus, he had a completely different reaction than that of his supposed-children.  Abraham “rejoiced” over Jesus; the later Jews despised Him.  Abraham was “glad”; the Jews accused Jesus of being possessed.  Quite the difference.  They stood face-to-face with the promises of God made to Abraham, and they despised their privilege.

57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

  1. Jesus’ statement was incredulous to the Jews.  Jesus was but a young man, and Abraham lived centuries earlier.  How could Abraham have rejoiced over Jesus’ coming?  How could Jesus even have known anything of Abraham’s reaction to anything?  That’s when Jesus drops the bombshell truth…

58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

  1. Jesus didn’t just see Abraham; He pre-dated him.  It’s not a matter of age, but of eternity.  Before Abraham ever came into being, Jesus already existed.  This is a direct statement of Jesus that He is the One True God.  This is the exact language used in the Old Testament of God referring to His own name.  Exodus 3:13–14, "(13) Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” (14) And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”"  When the Old Testament uses the name of God, it normally refers to “Yahweh/Jehovah” = the Eternal One, the Ever-existing One.  Yet that is from the perspective of the Jews.  When God refers to Himself, He is simply I AM.  God exists before all things, and is dependent upon nothing for His own existence.  His name sounds a bit incomplete to us – , we say “I am Tim,” or “My name is Tim…”  But God cannot say the same thing.  After all, we were named.  Someone (our parents) came before us, and they had the responsibility of naming us.  Who came before God?  No one.  No term better suits God’s character than “I AM.”  He simply IS.
  2. And that’s the name Jesus attributes to Himself.  No prophet could (or would) say the same – it would be blasphemous to equate oneself with God, yet Jesus did it would hesitation or apology.  Jesus took the name of God, because He is God.  This was purposeful on Jesus’ part.  Throughout this conversation, Jesus had alluded to this, using the same language.  But it was always couched in a broader context.  In 8:12, Jesus said “I am the light of the world.”  In 8:28, Jesus said “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am.”  All along, Jesus was saying that He is I AM, but the Jews were always able to pass it off as something else.  Not this time.  This is Jesus’ most direct statement to date.  There is simply no getting around the fact that He uses the divine name of God in self-reference.
  3. As mentioned earlier, the Jehovah Witnesses go to great lengths to deny this.  This is one of the places they actually mistranslate the Scripture in their “New World Translation.”  In their version, they have Jesus saying “Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been.”  It’s the second part of that statement that is a blatant mistranslation of the Greek text.  As Ron Rhodes notes, “The Jehovah’s Witnesses are willing to concede that Jesus was preexistent, but not that He was eternally preexistent.”  And that is a huge difference!  An angel could have predated Abraham, but only God is eternal and uncreated.  And that is exactly what Jesus says about Himself.  “Before Abraham was, I AM.”  It isn’t nearly as clear in English as it is in Greek.  Most English versions use the same verb to translate the words. Past tense of “to be” is “was,” present tense is “am.”  There are actually two different words used in the Greek, which is why NASB can accurately translate the first part of Jesus’ sentence as “before Abraham was born,” but the tenses are the most important part here.  Everyone agrees that Jesus’ statement of Abraham is translated in the past tense (actually aorist), but Jesus’ statement of Himself is unquestionably present tense. (ἐγὼ εἰμί)  The way this is worded is emphatic, showing that Jesus said this in such a way that no one could possibly escape His meaning, which is why cults have to attempt to reword it.  The Jehovah Witnesses even attempted at one time to claim this was a different tense entirely – one that isn’t found in Greek grammar at all (a supposed “perfect indefinite” tense).
    1. Why do they go to such lengths?  Because if Jesus is I AM, then Jesus is Almighty God.  This is the same reason why Muslims claim that the New Testament is corrupted.  This is the same reason why Mormons claim that the New Testament has to be interpreted in light of the Book of Mormon and their Doctrines & Covenants.  When Jesus’ words stand on their own (as they should), then Jesus firmly and clearly proclaims that He is God.  He doesn’t simply say that He is like God, or has become a God, or any other such thing.  He says He IS God.  He is of the same substance and nature as the Creator God who freed ancient Israel from Egyptian slavery.  He is the God who parted the Red Sea and sovereignly guides the events of the world.  He is the God who preexists all things, and who never came into existence at all – He simply IS.  This is our Jesus.  He is I AM.
  4. If Jesus is God in the flesh, then what is your response to Him?  This not some prophet that we can take or leave.  This is not an angel, of whom we might be afraid but has no say over our soul.  This is Almighty God Himself, the One whom every man and woman will face for judgment.  This is the One who created the heavens and earth by His sheer will.  This is the One who holds every atom in the universe together.  This vast Almighty God clothed Himself in human flesh and dwelt among us.  This incredible infinite God knows you by name, and mercifully invites us to be saved and forgiven in Him.  This holy perfect God took your sin upon Himself when He died upon the cross for you.  And this all powerful God rose again from the grave and lives today inviting all people everywhere to be saved.  Can there be a greater gift offered to mankind?  GOD came for us.  GOD died for us and saves us.  To refuse His gift is the height of foolishness.  To abuse His grace is unfathomable.  Jesus is I AM.  Embrace that for all it is!
  5. The Jews certainly understood Jesus clearly.  Notice their response…

59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

  1. Amazingly, there are still groups today that argue that Jesus never claimed to be God.  He most certainly did, and in clear terms.  The Jews of Jerusalem had no misunderstanding of Jesus’ claims, and they unhesitatingly responded with violence.  They picked up “stones to throw at Him,” desiring to kill Him for the crime of blasphemy.  It was bad enough in their culture to merely utter the divine name of God; to attribute it to oneself was beyond the pale.  Yet that’s what Jesus did, and He is the only One who could do so without blaspheming.  When Jesus took the name of God for Himself, it was because it’s the truth.  (Any doubts are laid to rest through His resurrection from the dead.)
  2. The mob broke out in a virtual riot, looking for blood – but they found none.  Amazingly, Jesus escaped, and John describes it in the calmest of terms.  As the Jewish crowd scurried for stones, Jesus simply walks out “going through the midst of them.”  Jesus not only declares He is God, but He demonstrates the fact that He is.  Jesus is sovereign over all events, including those surrounding His death.  He would not be killed before the time predetermined by His Father, no matter how the mob around Him raged.  If it had existed, they could have shot a bullet at Him a point-blank range, and it still would have missed.  Jesus could pass through the crowd because Jesus is God.

Conclusion:
Jesus is I AM.  He is the Almighty God.  This truth has reverberated through history from the moment Jesus uttered it, and men and women still stumble over it.  People can deny it, attempt to ignore it, or even lie about it – but what they cannot do is change it.  Jesus is God.  And that’s a fact that will one day be acknowledged by every human, every angel, every creature in all the universe.  Philippians 2:9–11, "(9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, (10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, (11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  Jesus is I AM.  The question is: will you confess that now or later?

The Jews of Jerusalem anticipated where Jesus was heading, and they rebelled against it the entire way.  They reviled Jesus, insulted Him, and mocked Him.  Finally, they picked up stones to throw at Him.  They couldn’t handle the fact of Jesus’ deity, because if Jesus is God, that meant they needed to bow to Him.  They owed Him their allegiance and worship, and they were far too comfortable worshipping a false god of their own imagination.

People are no different today.  Perhaps you’re even in that same boat.  You’re comfortable with your own idea of god, but profoundly uncomfortable with the fact that Jesus IS God.  If Jesus is God, then everything the Bible says is true – sin truly is sin, and your sin (just like everyone else’s) needs to be reckoned with.  The good news is that Jesus HAS reckoned with your sin, and the only reason He could do so is because He IS God.  A Jesus that is merely human cannot offer grace and salvation.  He might be nice and say some spiritual truths, but He cannot save.  But because Jesus is God, Jesus can save.  Stop your rebellion, see Him for who He is, and respond to His loving offer of grace! 

For the rest of us, we can rest easy in the knowledge that not only did Jesus claim to be God, but He proved it.  All His miracles, all His demonstrations of power, all His declarations of truth – every bit of His ministry culminates in the cross and resurrection.  Because Jesus is risen from the dead, we can know that every claim He made is true…including the claim that He is I AM, the Almighty Ever-Existent God.  This is the God of the Universe, and this is the God we are invited to worship through His loving grace.

With that in mind, how careful we need to be regarding the carelessness of sin!  We can so easily fall into the line of thinking, “It’s OK, at least I’m forgiven.”  Yes, we are forgiven (praise God), but the grace we have received is anything but cheap.  The forgiveness we have received was purchased by the blood of God Himself.  We have been extended the highest of privileges when I AM went to the cross for us.  That is something we ought to cherish – something at which we ought to tremble.  GOD knew you & loved you & died for you.  The I AM shed His blood for you.  May we be ever aware of the deity of Christ, so that we never take the cross for granted.

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