“You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
There have been many bold statements in human history. Patrick Henry declaring “Give me liberty or give me death!” is a good example. So is Harriet Tubman’s exhortation to the slaves she led through the Underground Railroad: “If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”1
Yet Jesus claiming to be God is without a doubt the boldest statement ever made or recorded.
And, yes, that is exactly what Jesus claimed in the Scripture passage above. A couple of thousand years before Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, God spoke to Moses through a burning bush. When Moses humbly asked to know God’s name, “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, “I am has sent me to you”’” (Exodus 3:14).
Back in those Jerusalem streets, there was a different group of people asking the questions, this time not so humbly. The religious Jesus Is God leaders wanted to know who Jesus thought He was. In fact, they demanded to know. And when Jesus mentioned a connection between Himself and Abraham, they scoffed. Abraham was a national treasure for the Jewish people. A founding father. One of the most respected personages in history, right up there with Moses. What on earth could this rabbi be talking about?
That’s when Jesus dropped the bomb: “Before Abraham was, I am.”
This is Day 1 of our journey together, and the very first thing you need to process and understand is that Jesus is God. The God. The one and only Creator and Sustainer of the universe. And this same God has prepared a table for you in the presence of your enemies. This same God—the one and only God—has invited you to join Him. Jesus is God, and He is inviting you close.
It’s worth chewing on the truth of Jesus’ divinity for a few moments. Jesus is not just an ambassador for God. Jesus is not just part of God. Jesus is not just someone who lived a good life and taught some helpful things and deserves to be remembered favorably by history because He helped us find a better understanding of God.
No, Jesus is God. Full stop.
The religious leaders who were listening to Jesus understood His claim, even if they didn’t accept it. That’s why they picked up stones. In their minds, they were obeying what God commanded in His law: “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him” (Leviticus 24:16). They were zealous in their religion even as they missed the Author of their faith.
I encourage you not to repeat their mistake. Instead, as you take a step closer to Christ at the table of your mind, I hope you’ll bow in His presence and declare for all to hear, “Lord Jesus Christ, You are God, and I worship You.”
At the Table with Jesus
Jesus is inviting you to sit down with Him. He has prepared a table—a refuge from the Enemy’s lies and temptations. And He’s beckoning you to join Him there. Will you accept His invitation?
The sixty-six devotions in this book will guide you as you sit with your Savior and get to know Him better. They explore eleven foundational truths about who Jesus really is—truths like Jesus is God; He is human; He is a rabbi, a teacher; He is our friend.