Thursday – February 25, 2016
Day 16 – John 8:31-59
Focus: vss. 31-32, 58
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
Did you know that I am a very special person? Well, I’m sure my mother and father thought so. In fact, I am named for my father, except for the middle name. Would you believe that his was Orlando? I have no idea, however, why my middle name is Arthur. Besides all this I have discovered that Tom and Mary Benedict, my earliest ancestors on these shores came over from England just a couple of years after the Pilgrims from the Mayflower landed. So we have been around for a long, long time. It is my understanding that all the Benedicts in America are related through Tom and Mary from way back then. More recently I discovered that there were even some Tory Benedicts who had to flee to Canada to escape persecution in what was then known as The Colonies.
Okay, I’ve bared the skeletons in my closet so now we will move on to discovering the truth about Jesus. Yes, the truth. His legacy, or pedigree, is much better than mine. He is the one and only Son of the Father. Our first focus verses (vs. 31-32) have Jesus making the declaration, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” This is, of course, tied to holding fast to His teachings. Apparently this caused quite a stir among those Jewish believers as they took umbrage (look that one up) over his statement. Their tune changed considerably and they even sought to kill Jesus. The last straw for them was verse 58, “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” So what Jesus was saying in essence was, “The truth is . . . I am!” Jesus had made it perfectly clear just Who He is. This did not sit well with these Jews and they looked to stone Him. However, Jesus knew that it was not yet His time so he hid from them and slipped away.
Dear readers, He makes the same statements to us today. What is our response? Are we more discerning than those former Jewish believers? I pray so as there have now been over 2,000 years of history where the true believers in Jesus have made their mark on the world. Many things have changed because of those witnesses. But it seems today that many are turning their backs on this same Jesus. They are not willing to be known as His people so they want to get rid of Him in any way they can. Are we going to be among that number or are we going to stand up and be counted as belonging to Him?
Prayer Focus: Lord Jesus I long to be perfectly Yours. Break down any idols in my life that I may more perfectly reflect Your glory to the world around me. I don’t want them to have a distorted vision of Who You are so please polish me to better reflect Your likeness. AMEN.