A.D. 32. in Jerusalem – about six months before Jesus’ crucifixion. As he was on his way to the Cross, the debates between Jesus and the Pharisees were becoming more and more heated. There was an ongoing controversy between them concerning his claims. It deeply mattered to the Jews where Jesus came from – what was his family of origin – for all involved realized that there were profound implications in his identity.
- How does your family of origin affect your identity and others’ perceptions of you?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 8:48-53 (ESV)
48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- How are the Jews trying to discredit Jesus?
- Who does Jesus say is his “family of origin”? What does this imply and why is it offensive to the Jews?
- What is the new concept that Jesus introduces to the crowd in verse 51?
- What is your response to who Jesus “makes himself out to be”?
RESPOND TO GOD
This bigger debate in John 8 with the Pharisees is the height of an ongoing controversy about Jesus’ origin. Jesus had previously announced that he was from above, not of this world, and now, in this passage, he clearly states that God is his father. Jesus also connects himself with the resurrection of the dead – all were blasphemous words to the ears of the Pharisees. But what are these words to us? Do you hear the hope of eternal life? Do you desire to honor the One who seeks not his own glory but that of the Father?
- Pray that you would receive Jesus’ words with an open, tender heart.
- Praise Jesus that he is the Son of God and ask him to open the eyes of your friends and family to the profound truth of his identity.