Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
We’ve all seen disputes like this. A friend is accused in general terms. There’s no evidence, not even a real charge, just an ad hominem attack. The friend takes the bait, poor fool. He answers the statement and says his accuser is wrong. The dispute escalates amazingly fast. Within moments, we almost think our friend, who is not a vegetarian, must be a cannibal.
In John 8:48-59, Jesus, accused of being a Samaritan with a demon, takes the bait. It is nothing more than bait, and Jesus knows precisely what to expect. He uses the opportunity to say that he doesn’t seek his own glory, but that God the Father does. He then makes a claim to be able to grant eternal life.
This, in turn, baits the Jews. They latch on to the discussion of eternal life, pointing out that Abraham, certainly a credible example, died. Ha! Take that!
Jesus’ response is that his glory comes from God but that, unlike the Jews, he needs to tell the truth (bang, take that). Furthermore, Abraham was glad to see the day of Christ. This is such an outlandish statement the Jews, forgetting for the moment that they have been called liars, point out the obvious fact that Jesus doesn’t appear to have been around at the time of Abraham, a couple of thousand years ago. Jesus ends the discussion by claiming to be pre-existent to Abraham, using the very name of God revealed to Moses in the Exodus. The Jews understand this as a claim of deity and move to using rocks instead of words to try silencing Jesus.
Jesus makes all sorts of claims we find amazing. There’s a supernatural, miraculous aspect to him. What sets him apart is that all his claims, upon examination, prove to be true. This is not like our friend, who, though he can prove that he eats steak, can’t prove that he doesn’t eat the neighborhood pets. A positive can be proven but a negative cannot be disproven. Jesus shows himself to be the eternal God the Son, who is greater than death. He’s the one we ought to be lieve. All his other clams are true.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.