Walking in Truth Devotional Update
They Picked Up Stones to Stone Jesus
Many false teachers have said that Jesus never claimed to be God. As any Bible student knows that is not true. There are several times Jesus claimed deity.
In John 8:58, 59 “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM. 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.”
In our text Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?
The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (John 10:30-33).
When Jesus said, before Abraham was, I AM He was identifying Himself with Deity as discussed in Exodus 3:13-15: “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?’” “I AM WHO I AM.” (Absolute Existence – always was, is, and will be) And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you. “Thus, you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God (Yahweh) of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’”
Exodus 3:13-15 is the most elaborate and emphatic declaration of God’s affirmation of His eternal self-existence to be found in the Old Testament. God gives three answers to the question, “What shall I tell them your name is?”
1. In verse 14, God says, I AM WHO I AM.
2. Also in v. 14, God says, I AM has sent me to you.
3. Then in v. 15, The LORD God (Yahweh) has sent me to you . . . this is my name forever. Yahweh is used here interchangeably with the term “I AM”.
The Jews had no trouble understanding that Jesus was claiming to be God (Deity) and that is why they were so mad and wanted to kill Him. For him to say “I AM” meant He is the I AM, Yahweh, I AM that I AM, the God of Israel, of the Old Testament. There is a total of seven statements by Jesus in which He states I AM recorded in the Gospel of John.
In response to their reason to stone Him, Jesus referred to the Holy Scriptures as their law and quoted from Psalm 82:6, “I said, “You are gods.” The Greek word “theos” (god) does not always refer to Jehovah. It signifies a mighty one, a ruler, and especially a religious or sacerdotal ruler. Here the psalmist portrayed God as addressing corrupt judges. Since it was against these unjust judges that God’s word of judgment was directed what basis did they have for accusing Him (the one whom the Father had sanctified and sent into the world) of blasphemy for saying, “I am God’s Son”? (John 10:34-36).
If Jesus did not do His Father’s works, they should not believe Him. If, however, he did them, and they still did not believe in Him, they should at least believe the good works as being from the Father. The works of Jesus should have demonstrated that Jesus and the Father are one. Therefore, they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. Yes, Jesus claimed to be God and He and the Father are One.
The attitude of the religious leaders demonstrates how far evil prejudice will drive a person. I challenge you to study carefully the life of Jesus Christ and as many atheists have come to believe in Him, maybe you will also.
By Guy Roberson
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