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Monday, May 16, 2011

5/17/11 John 8:48-53 Who Do You Think you Are?

48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”
49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”
52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

(Pharisees in the Temple, Rembrandt)

Thoughts: The question that keeps resurfacing to Jesus is "Who do you think you are?"  John spends three chapters focusing on the answer to this question.  In chapter 8 Jesus is the light of the world, the truth, and even greater than Abraham.  Jesus said that these unbelieving Jews had the devil as their father.  The unbelievers responded by saying he was a hated Samaritan and demon-possessed himself.  Jesus appeals to God as the judge between them.  But He also appeals to the power of obeying Him.  Obeying Christ leads to eternal life, for the first item of obedience if believing and trusting in who He is- not the son of the devil, but the Son of God.

Prayer: My life depends on my trust in you, Lord.  Help me to grow in my belief and trust in you.

John Calvin Abridged: The Jews reckoned the Samaritans as apostates and heretics.  Having no more rational argument, they chose to randomly pull a taunt from the air.  They basically curse him because they cannot find anything to say.  Christ refutes both charges (Samaritan and demoniac) when he says he honors the Father.  Because Christ connects himself to honoring God- when they dishonor Him they dishonor God.

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