Thursday of 5th Wk of Lent
Gospel of John 8:51-59
If ever there was a story in scripture meant to drive the poor old Pharisees mad, then it is this one. The Jews knew that their scriptures were the word of God. This meant that only God could fully understand them. Then along comes this wandering rabbi from some small village and he claims that he can understand them, and even more, he claims that he has the authority to pronounce on their exact meaning.
“He is our God,” quotes Jesus, and then he goes on to say that he knows him deeply and personally. This is too much for the Pharisees; they ask Jesus outright who he is claiming to be. Jesus replies fully and completely:
“Amen, Amen, I say unto you, before Abraham ever was, I Am.”
In this phrase Jesus calls himself by the sacred name of God which is too sacred for even the Jews to pronounce. God tells Moses his name is “I Am,” and from that time the Jews won’t use this designation.
In using it of himself, Jesus is saying plainly that he is God.
It is a bit of a challenge for all of us. Do we accept him as such or have we grown used to the idea and sort of just let it pass us by. What does it mean to say Jesus is God? How does such a belief impact on our lives?
Answering these questions in our hearts would be a good way to spend the last few days of Lent.