Daily Word

Before Abraham, I am | John 8:48 – 59

48 The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?” 49 “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me. 50 And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge. 51 I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”

52 The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

54 Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”

57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” 59 At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.

John 8:48 – 59 (NLT)


They (probably the Jewish leaders) used a racial slur, thinking Jesus was a half-Jew Samaritan. We looked before at how they looked down on them. They were so frustrated and angry they even said he is demon possessed. Jesus repeats what he said yesterday; they are liars.

Never die

Jesus makes the next amazing claim: believe in him, obey his teachings and you’ll never die. Previously, he used metaphors like living water and bread of life but they still just don’t get it. Now he gives it to them straight and of course they think in temporal terms. “How can someone not die? Even Abraham, our father, died.”, they ponder. But Jesus is talking in spiritual terms.

Glory source

In verse 54, I think the meaning is, “It’s easy to glorify yourself, but I receive my glorification from the Father.” And how did this happen? One way is God the Father appointed Jesus as a permanent, perfect High Priest. “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek’” (Psalm 110:4).

I am

“With this dramatic phrase Jesus told them that He was the eternal God, existing not only during the time of Abraham but before unto eternity past. Jesus claimed to be the great I AM, the voice of the covenant God of Israel revealed at the burning bush (Exodus 3:13-14).” (enduringword.com) When Jesus says, “I am”, the Jews know that Jesus is claiming to be God. They tried to kill him – as he said they would previously (John 7:19, 8:40). 

<- Reflection ->
  • How do you respond knowing Jesus is “I am”? Leave a comment.
  • Can we mimic Jesus in saying, “But I do know him and obey him.”?
Image by Pixabay

🤞 May I notify you of new posts?

They'll be sent out as soon as new POSTs are created, which has been daily (hence the name) for over 15 years.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content