Day 24 (March 20), John 8:48-59
Context: Jesus concludes the latest debate and discourse with the Jewish leaders by refuting their claim he has a demon and that he truly is trying to bring glory to God, his Father. He also declares that if anyone believes His word they will not see death. The Jewish leaders raise the issue of Abraham, as the patriarch of the Jewish people, who himself tasted death. He responds by saying they do not know Abraham, but before Abraham was, ‘I AM.’ This is a direct claim of his deity and eternal existence as well as a reference to Exodus 3:14 where God, the Father, speaks directly to Moses and makes the very same, and outlandishly bold, claim.
Observations: Why did the Jewish people present in this conversation pick up stones to kill Jesus at its conclusion? How does this help you refute the statement people make that Jesus never claimed to be God? What assurance can you have through these uncertain times from this glimpse into Jesus’ personality and teaching?
Application: Since Jesus is eternal, omniscient and pre-existing, He was fully aware of all the circumstances we would face today (and will tomorrow) with respect to the COVID-19 scenario. Do something very proactive today that will help you sense His presence and peace in real and tangible ways: express your pain and frustration, give your thanks, write down some action steps you should be taking to respond to circumstances, take some of your down time and commune authentically with Jesus, or perhaps the passages in John are stirring you to engage the culture and community around you somehow.
Prayer: Make certain you thank Jesus for something specific today!! It will go a long way to help you sift through the frustration, challenges and limitations. How about that ‘you’ll never see death’ if you are a true believer in Christ? That you have already passed from death to life and that physical death cannot separate you from Jesus … it only ushers us into a greater experience of His presence!!