4 x 6 Plan | Read: John 8:48-59 & Galatians 6:1-10

At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple. (John 8:59)

It was a nice warm fall day at Waterlool Elementary school in 1985 when I got into a pretty good fight during the recess.  The argument?  Who had the toughest dad?  I’m not sure how either one of us punching the other had anything to do with proving the toughness of our dads but it made sense to two 5 year olds.  

The conversation Jesus has with a group of Jews in John 8 sounds a lot like a playground argument over who has the coolest dad. Jesus talked about His Father. Then the Jews talked about their father, Abraham. Jesus countered by saying their father was, in fact, not Abraham or God, but the devil. That didn’t go over too well. “If you were Abraham’s children,” Jesus told them, “you would do what Abraham did. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You’re doing what your father does” (vv.39–41). Burn.

This back and forth was never really about dads though—it was about Jesus’s identity. To the casual observer, it must have seemed that Jesus was out of His mind. He was saying truly outrageous things: that He was sent by the Father (v.16); that He had come down from heaven (v.23); and that whoever believes in Him will never die (v.51). With each statement, the Jews grew more upset. But Jesus saved the best for last: “Before Abraham was, I am” (v.58). The Greek words translated “I am” here are the same words used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament when God revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). Jesus was openly claiming to be Yahweh. And that was just too much for the Jews who heard. That’s why, in that very moment, “they picked up stones to throw at him” (John 8:59).

When people come face to face with Jesus as He truly is, there’s often a strong reaction. Some are amazed, while others beg for mercy. And still others, like this group of Jews in John 8, look for rocks. Make no mistake though—how you respond to Jesus is really all that counts.

Action Steps 

Bible: What is God showing me?  What am I going to do about it? 

Bless: Serve one person through word, action, or gift today.