I’ve got to admit, I get a bit uncomfortable following a king like Jesus. Phew. Finishing out John 8, He just lets it fly. Man. It’s painful.
As someone who has to play the role of a religious leader, I look at what is going on here and shudder. As we’ve looked at the last few days, Jesus takes them to task for missing the point. Here, both sides are accusing the other of being demonic, of following Satan. Only one side can be right. Unfortunately for these guys, Jesus comes back to life to prove His side, and they don’t.
But you know, none of us are off the hook. We have been gifted more than any other time of the Church’s history. We have more ability to study, more leisure to pray and listen, more resources to give and change the world, than any other group of Christians ever. If there was ever a mass group of people God would look to with expectations to be leaders, it is each of us. Our vocations have little to do with it. I mean, God is not impressed with where I receive a paycheck for, and doesn’t excuse you for yours. He has blessed us, we are all pastors, and we all have a responsibility globally.
Jesus lays it on the line in verse 58. The phrase He utters when He says “before Abraham was born, I am!” is not a weird grammatical deal. It is the very name of God. It’s the name that the Jews for the most part wouldn’t even say in a sentence, out of respect for the holiness of God. Jesus doesn’t just say it, He claims it as His name. He is God. Pure and simple. Deal with it. Face it.
They decide to kill Him. Right there. He walks away.
I do it too. God steps into my life, calls me out on my hard-heartedness. I give every excuse possible. I’m busy. It’s too hard. I would be seen as weird. These are no better than claiming I don’t have to because I’m a 53rd generation descendant of Abraham. They are all equally weak excuses. The reality is Jesus gets in my face, in your face, and says it plain. I am God. No wiggle room. I am. Get on board, or kill me.
We decide to kill Him. Right there. He walks away.
We can’t really kill Him. We don’t have that power. But He does walk away.
What of you? What are you telling God “no” on? You do realize you are telling Him, “You are not God” when you do that, right? He can’t be your God, your King, and you tell Him “no”. It’s not possible. When you refuse to obey at any point, you pick up your rock to try weakly to kill Him.
He’s a tough king to follow.