John in 21: Chapter 8

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life." John 8:12

Read today's passage: John 8:1-59

Do you ever read the Bible aloud? Try that with chapter 8. The Bible was written with the expectation that it would be read aloud to others. As a result, many old familiar passages will take on a new life when you experience them with your ears as well as your eyes.

As you read, try to imagine the people; try to picture Jesus and the Jews who believed in Him (v. 31). Try to picture the Pharisees who confront Jesus. See if you can't feel the emotion rising through this whole chapter building up to Jesus' climactic statement, "' I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!'" (v.58).

This statement looks like a mistake at first. Shouldn't Jesus have said, "Before Abraham was, I was"? No, Jesus knew exactly what He was saying here--and the Pharisees did too. Jesus was declaring Himself to be the God of Abraham. And by using the phrase "I am," He was identifying Himself as the one who spoke to Moses from the burning bush. This made the Pharisees furious.

God said to Moses on that occasion, "I AM WHO I AM" (Exodus 3:14). But the Pharisees and even some people today have been telling God, "You will be who I say you are." But it doesn't work that way. Only those willing to accept God on His terms will ever truly find Him.

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