The discussions continue as the unbelievers become more frustrated resorting to cheap insults you are a Samaritan and demon possessed. Jesus clearly stakes His claim, he honours His Father and they are dishonouring Him. Jesus was not about glorifying Himself, but states that is what “the judge” seeks. Then the startling statement whoever obeys my word will never see death!! Abraham and the prophets all died. “how dare you” “who do you think you are!” What a great question but given from the wrong motive. Jesus was able to state that Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing His day he saw it and was glad. This in effect lit the blue touch paper, How could Abraham have seen His day as he had died and Jesus delivered the final blow “before Abraham was born I AM” resulting in the unbelievers picking up stones to stone him as this was considered blasphemy and Jesus is clearly identifying himself as being God himself. Jesus is able to slip away unharmed as His hour had not yet come.
How often do we stick stubbornly to a fixed position and continue to entrench ourselves into the pit we dig for ourselves. The claims of Jesus are either blasphemy or the truth. It appears from the early verses that many Jews had believed and were turning from darkness into light and eternal life. The words of Jesus were setting them free from the power of sin but this resulted in sharp divisions. The unbelievers entrenching themselves into their position of unbelief and denial of the true Messiah standing there before them, attested by words, miracles and other great acts of healing and mercy that only the Son of God could perform as evidence that He was truly the son of God.
Grant us the wisdom, discernment, trust and faith to take Jesus at His word. To seek His Holy Spirit to confirm the truth to our hearts, souls and minds so that we can follow Him and not our own futile religious behaviours. Amen.