IX. The Sermon: I AM – Reverend Kyle McClellan, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church The Sermon Passages: John 8:48-59
48The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58Jesus said to them, “Truly truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
Introduction – Just like the greatness of the rift valley in Kenya cannot be captured in story or picture, so are the depths of understanding the phrase Christ says “I am”. We must see it and experience it for ourselves.
The Big Idea: Jesus is both the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises, and God Himself.
Point One: “Sticks and Stones” (vv. 48-50, 54-55).
The passage begins with name calling. Calling someone a Samaritan was the biggest racial slur someone could say to a Jes. Plus they say Jesus has a demon. Jesus calls them a liar, which is the truth and not name calling, and that they insult God who sent him to speak as he does.
What if we understood and believed that what others say of us doesn’t matter but only what God says? This is the approach Jesus is saying in this passage. What God thinks of Christ is ultimate.
Point Two: No more sting, no more victory (vv. 51-53).
Followers of Jesus will not taste death and the pharisees say that Abraham died so Jesus is wrong. 1 Corinthians 15:50. Written to this church who is beginning to doubt the resurrection. So Paul explains this passage about Christ that we a studying today. Yes we will all die but that is not the end of it because “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We will be resurrected because God resurrected Jesus as first fruit of our resurrection harvest. Followers of Christ will be with God for eternity.
Point Three: One covenant, not eight (v. 56)
How did Abraham see Christ’s day? Genesis 12. How is it that we are blessed trough Abraham? Matt 1 says Jesus is Abraham’s son to bless the world through his substitutionary life and death for all who believe on him. He hoped in the one God would send through Abraham as THE ONE through whom God would bless the world. God is not the God of wrath in the old testament and then mellows out with Jesus in the new testament. It is one story of redemption all the way through!
Point Four: Liar, Lunatic or Lord (vv. 57-59).
Jesus is claiming to be God by using the name of God in the old testament at the exodus whee God reveals himself to Moses as the Great I Am.
But what if Jesus’ claim IS true? Rene Descartes said ‘I think therefore I am.’ This changed people from thinking their identity in terms of their extended family on to the individual. However both identities a wrong. I am not the thinker and therefore the I am, God is the I am.
The Bible is not God’s manual for life but rahrer the revelation of God himself, THE great I AM!