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Demonic or Divine

John 8:48-53
The Jews answered him, "Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?" I am not possessed by a demon," said Jesus, "but I honour my Father and you dishonour me. I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 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?" (NIV)

Nobody ignored Jesus. The more they got to know Him, they either loved Him or hated Him. Those who were against Him could not argue logically against His teaching and so they slandered Him. They accused Him of not being a proper Jew, but a Samaritan; and not being from God, but belonging to Satan. In accusing Jesus of blasphemy they uttered the greatest blasphemy by ascribing the glory of God to the devil. So Jesus pointed out that by dishonouring Him, they were also dishonouring His Father.
But they could not understand. When Jesus said people who obeyed Him would never die, they made the assumption that He was talking about physical life and death. Obviously everybody will die at some time, as did Abraham and the prophets, so could Jesus really stop death happening? Was Jesus greater than their honoured prophets? But their questions were not asked sincerely: they were arrogant and cynical attempts to discredit the Son of God. So too was their question "Who do you think you are?" It was not the first time they had asked the question. In John 8:25 His answer was "Just what I have been claiming all along."
The identity of Jesus does not depend upon people's opinion but upon His self-revelation. Because He was God in the flesh, we do not have any experience by which to evaluate Him. We cannot work out His identity for ourselves; we need to believe what He tells us about Himself. But sadly, even though many people heard His words and saw His miracles their sinful hearts were blind. They could not see that this man was their Creator and Saviour. Today, if anyone tries to work out who Jesus is without accepting His words, they will always go astray. That is why it is essential to encourage our friends to read the Bible accounts, so that they may understand more of what He claimed and then commit themselves to keeping His Word and receiving His salvation.

Father God. Thank You that I do not have to invent my own idea of who Jesus is: it is already written for me to read. I am sorry when I have spoken about the Lord Jesus but have not read the Bible with my friends and colleagues. Please help me to learn how to use the Bible as my primary evangelistic resource. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams