“Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” John 8.54-59
What Jesus reveals about himself and his relationship with the Father in this passage is significant. First, he reveals that he doesn’t glorify himself but that it’s the Father who glorifies the Son. This means Jesus is the glory of God. Second, Jesus was in God’s plans since the beginning and was with God in the beginning. Abraham knew about Jesus even expected him. Third, Jesus is God.
As Jesus is having this conversation with the Jews in the Temple courts he is defending himself while revealing who he is to his listeners. Some believed but many doubted. When Jesus finally reveals himself as God by referring to himself as “I am,” the Jews pick up stones to kill him. But as he does when his time has not yet come he hides himself, “slipping away from the temple grounds.”
Consider Jesus’ dilemma — he is wanting to be in a relationship with his people but many reject him. Even his very own would not accept who he is. They did not know God, as Jesus says, otherwise they would know him when he came to reveal himself to the world.
If many of those who met Jesus doubted, what chance do we have? Jesus answers my question when he has his conversation with Thomas after the resurrection when he says, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20.29).
I fully believe Jesus is who he said he was. He is the great I Am. He is God in the flesh and has a unique relationship with the Father who glorifies the son. Yet this trio (along with the Holy Spirit of God) wants to include humanity in their family. Jesus didn’t have to come down, suffer abuse, face persecution and ultimately death just for our sake. He chose to do this so we might know the Father like he knows the Father,
Do you know the Father today? Do you know the Son? Allow him to fill you with his power and love and surrender your life, your doubts and your belief to him for the glory of the Son.
“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving me and for allowing me to be your hands and feet. When I am in distress, you rescue me. When I am broken, you heal me. Come now, Holy Spirit, help me know you fully by surrendering all I have to you. Thank you for reaching down to save humanity and giving us new life. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen