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Greater Than Abraham

John 8:54-59
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. (NIV)

They hated Jesus but claimed to love Abraham. He was, they said, their father. Their claim to be children of Abraham implied that they were like him. But they were not. Abraham listened to God's word and obeyed: but when they heard Jesus, they argued. They claimed that Jesus was inventing Himself as a religious celebrity: but He said that Father God had given Him glory from heaven. They claimed to know the God of Abraham but hated the Son of God. So Jesus said they were liars!
Although Abraham did not understand fully, he believed God's promise in Genesis 12:3, "... all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." And Jesus was clear that He was the fulfilment of that promise. But how could Jesus know what Abraham thought, when He was so young and could never have met the patriarch? Jesus simply replied that He was God (I AM is the Old Testament Name of God - Exodus 3:14), and existed before Abraham was born. But such apparent blasphemy infuriated them and they wanted to kill Him.
Little has changed. Many claim to know God and to honour Abraham, but they do not honour Jesus as the great I AM, God in the flesh. Yet the truth is that Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be. Alas, many Christians have advertised their religious habits, their emotional feelings or their pious activities; but have fallen short of advertising the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. However, without Christ there is no salvation: the Apostle Peter said about Jesus, "Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12). So let us be unafraid and unashamed to proclaim that Name, even if people hate us for it.

Holy God. Thank You that Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be. I am sorry when I have been ashamed of Jesus or afraid of the reaction of other people, and have failed to say that Jesus is my Lord. Please help me to be bold with the truth, and please sustain all those whose faith has brought them under the condemnation of others. May they and I hold fast to the truth of Jesus in private and in public. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams