#DailyDevotion Do You Know God?
Joh 8:52-59 The 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.’ (53) Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” (54) Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ (55) But 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. (56) Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” (57) So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” (58) Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (59) So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
The ruling Jews continue down their path of rejecting Jesus’ word and Jesus. We can see they do understand what Jesus is saying, they just don’t believe it. “Are you greater than Abraham and the prophets? They all died.” They hear Jesus saying he is greater than these. They are correct in their hearing. Jesus is telling them he is greater than these.
But Jesus isn’t trying to glorify himself. He is just telling the truth he was given to teach by the Father. The Father glorifies Jesus through the work Jesus does. But here Jesus does something important. He distinguishes between having head knowledge about God and trusting God. He claims the One they worship as God is his Father. They have the word of God through Moses and the prophets. But they really don’t trust God as Father and what he has said through Moses and the prophets. Jesus claims they do not know the Father.
Like other religions that worship one god, i.e. are monotheistic, the Jews worshipped one God but they did not know God. They did not know God like a man knows his wife. They were not intimate with the Lord and those who do not trust Jesus of Nazareth still do not know God as he wants to be known. Jesus knows the Father. He knows the Father better than anyone as he is the only begotten of the Father from all eternity. He and the Father are one God and one Lord, the Lord our God the Lord is one.
Jesus makes the claim that Abraham saw his day and was glad. Now their response that really doesn‘t make sense. Jesus did not claim he saw Abraham but that Abraham saw him, in the promise, “Through your seed all nations would be blessed.” Never the less, Jesus picks up on their mistake and makes the bold claim, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus is claiming the name he gave to Moses on the mountain, “I am whom I am.” Jesus is clearly making a claim to be the Lord of the Old Testament here. They Jews understood that and picked up stones to kill him for blasphemy. They would be correct in doing so if Jesus wasn’t who he said he was. But Jesus is the Lord from the Old Testament in the flesh. His works and his word prove it. His resurrection from the dead is the seal of his claim.
Now you who trust and believe in Jesus know Jesus and the Father. When you believe Jesus is the Father’s mercy, kindness and faithful love toward you and all mankind then you know God the Father as Jesus knows God the Father. If your primary understanding of God is still some bearded guy in the sky issuing out orders to be obeyed then you still do not know God. If you know God loved you so much he sent his only begotten son to die for you on the cross so you may have life, then you know God as he wants to be known.
Heavenly Father, you revealed yourself, your true nature and will toward us in your son Jesus Christ. Give us your Holy Spirit that we may truly know you through the work and word of Jesus and receive your life within ourselves and share your life with others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.