Bible Study – John Chapter 8 Verses 52-59
John 8:52 – Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. The character of a believer; he is one that keeps the sayings of the Lord, His Word have I hide in my heart that I might not sin against thee. This we must not only receive but keep; not only have but hold. We must keep it in mind and memory, keep in love and affection, keep it as our way of life, keep it as our rule. When Jesus spoke about not dying, He was speaking about spiritual death, not physical death as the Jews assumed He was speaking of.
John 8:53 – Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? Abraham and the prophets kept God’s Word and died. Jesus was claiming not that He would prevent physical death, but that He could give eternal life. To the Jewish leaders, this was proof that Jesus was demon-possessed. God is not the God of the dead but of the living; therefore, Abraham and the prophets are still alive, and as Jesus meant it, they had not seen nor tasted death. They thought none could be greater than Abraham and the prophets, instead of inferring from Jesus’ making Himself greater than Abraham or the prophets that He had a devil. In Jesus’ reply to their question whom makest thou thyself, He refers Himself to His Father, God; and to their father, Abraham. He was not giving Himself honor, but He depended on His Father for all the honor.
John 8:54 – Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God. Jesus tells them if He honored Himself it would be nothing, but it is His Father that honors Him, the One they say is their God. They knew not God, and therefore perceived not the image of God nor the voice of God in Christ.
John 8:55 – Yet ye have not known him, but I know him; and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Jesus was telling them, they claimed to have known the Father and they didn’t. If Jesus said He didn’t know the Father, He would be lying like they were when they say they know Him. Jesus is saying, not only do I know Him but I keep His Word and live according to His Word. They didn’t know God neither did they know His Word and neither did they keep His Word.
John 8:56- Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. God told Abraham, father of the Jewish nation, that through him all nations would be blessed. Abraham had been able to see this through the eyes of faith. Jesus, a descendant of Abraham, blessed all people through His death, resurrection, and offer of salvation. Abraham looked for the One who would fulfill all that was promised to him, promises that included blessings for all nations. God was going to bless other nations which indicates that God is the Creator of all nation even if they serve other gods
John 8:57 – Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? They suppose it a very absurd thing for Him to pretend to have seen Abraham who was dead so many ages before He was born. How could this be, was He in a hallucination?
John 8:58 – Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Not only did Jesus say He existed before Abraham; He also applied God’s holy name “I AM”, to Himself. Jesus was not just claiming to have lived before Abraham, He was claiming eternal existence. He was claiming to be God Himself.
John 8:59 – Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. In accordance with the law in Leviticus 24:16, the religious leaders were ready to stone Jesus for claiming to be God. They understood what Jesus was claiming and since they didn’t believe Him, they charged Him was blasphemy. The religious leaders were the ones who were blasphemers, cursing and attacking the very God they claimed to serve.