Gospel: John 8:51-59
Truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never experience death.” The Jews replied, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died and the prophets as well, but you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never experience death.’ Who do you claim to be? Do you claim to be greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets who also died?” Then Jesus said, “If I were to praise myself, it would count for nothing. But he who gives glory to me is the Father, the very one you claim as your God, although you don’t know him. I know him, and if I were to say that I don’t know him, I would be a liar like you. But I know him and I keep his word.
As for Abraham, your ancestor, he looked forward to the day when I would come; and he rejoiced when he saw it.”
The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” And Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” They then picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and left the temple.
“Truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Whatever Jesus says is met with resistance from the Jews. Hardened unbelievers can never be convinced of whatever he says or does. They will always misinterpret it or give a different color. They are bent on eliminating Jesus. The authorities, like the spiritual leaders in the Temple, cannot reconcile their teachings with Jesus’ claims as the Son of God, existing before the time of Abraham. It is actually a hard claim, difficult to prove or to demonstrate, but Jesus speaks on a different level.
Again, faith matters. Faith is taking as true whatever Jesus says. It goes beyond reasoning or calculating. They should not be considered lies or something that is harmful to the soul.
Jesus assures anyone in his speech that those who will keep his word will not die. To die here is not the same as dying of old age or from a disease. To die here means to be completely separated from God and from the community. Those who believe in Jesus understand also his language and they will be privileged to see God and supposedly their father Abraham who has gone much ahead of them.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019