Daily email Number 174 – from the Vicar

I said yesterday that there are 7 or maybe 8 “I am” sayings from Jesus recorded in John’s Gospel.I will go through them in order, but let me start with the “maybe 8” one, because although it is different from the others, it perhaps most clearly expresses the reality that Jesus has come from God and is God.
I suggest we read John Chapter 8 verses 31-59, although the key verse is v.58 where Jesus says, ‘Before Abraham was born, I am!’.
Hopefully this passage feels a bit familiar because we looked at it earlier in the year as part of a Sunday sermon series on Abraham in the New Testament.
Jesus is in conversation with the Jews, some of whom seem to have believed in Him, but when He pushes them on their belief, it seems that being physical descendants from Abraham is more important to them, than listening to the Word of God or the One sent from God.
Jesus accuses them of having the devil as their father (v.44), and they accuse Jesus of being demon-possessed (v.48). 
Jesus says that they are not acting like true descendants of Abraham (vs.39-41), but actually Abraham himself rejoiced at the prospect of seeing Jesus’ day (v.56), his seed has finally come to be a blessing to all the world.His hearers don’t really understand the prophetic nature of Abraham’s vision, and take Jesus’ words literally, and then Jesus responds, ‘Before Abraham was born, I am!’ (v.58)Jesus is saying that He has always existed, and therefore He is claiming to be God Himself, using that divine name we saw yesterday, ‘I AM who I AM’.His hearers certainly get the meaning, because they then try to stone Him, the punishment for blasphemy, someone claiming to be God or taking God’s name in vain.
Hope this makes sense, we’ll move on to one of the more obvious ‘I am’ sayings tomorrow.
From our extended church address list, let us remember in our prayers today those former church members who have been joining us via Zoom during this lockdown period,- Vikkie & Robbie- Champa and family

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