Jesus & Abraham - by Jeff Byerley
The Study - John 8:39-59 Jesus and Abraham.
Here are a further six confrontations between the Jews and Jesus.
Truth / non truth (lies), are mentioned 10 times.
Jesus makes three declarations in the course of these confrontations.
Confrontation 1. - 8:39-41
The Jews claimed that Abraham was their father.
Jesus points out that if that were true they would do what Abraham did.
[Abraham gladly received messengers from God.
He accepted their word as true. (Gen. 18)]
Confrontation 2. - 8: 41-44
The Jews claim that God is their father. (see Ex.4:22; Deut. 32:6; Isa 63:16; 64:8).
Jesus replied that if that were true, they would love him as he was sent by God.
But they wish to murder him like their father the devil.
The devil is the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning (Gen. 3-4.)
Confrontation 3. - 8:45-47
Jesus declares "He who is of God hears the word of God", but they are not of God.
Confrontation 4. - 8:48-50
The Jews could not accuse Jesus of any specific sin, v.46.
So they accuse him of being a (akin to a heretic) Samaritan and having a demon.
[NB Matt 12:31 "blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven".]
Here Jesus rebuffs their claim that he has a demon.
He points out that he honors the Father and does not seek his own glory.
Confrontation 5. -8:51-52
Jesus declares "if any one keeps my word he will never see [eternal] death".
The Jews twist his words to say "will never taste death."
They dispute Jesus' claim as Abraham and the prophets all tasted death.
Confrontation 6. - 8:53-59
Jesus stated v.56 that "Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day".
Some see this in Gen. 12:3; 15:8-21; 22:1-19.
But really it is enough that Jesus states this.
The Jews dispute that Jesus is greater than Abraham.
Then Jesus declares "before Abraham was I AM".
The Jews attempted to stone Jesus but he hid himself and went out of the Temple.
We reflected upon the Jews' fatal self righteous attitude.
There was once an encounter between Justin Martyr and the Jew Trypho.
The apparent blasphemous claim of the Jews was:
"The eternal kingdom will be given to those who are the seed of Abraham according to the flesh,
even though they be sinners, and unbelievers and disobedient to God".
- The Dialogue of Trypho, p.140.
Jesus understood from the Jews' conduct where they stood.
Our faith is shown not only be what we say but what we do.