Greater Than Abraham (Jn 8:51-59)
Jesus, help me never to taste eternal death.
Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple
Jesus makes even stronger claims. Not only is he greater than Abraham but Abraham “rejoiced to see my day.” On the natural level, this is impossible. Jesus is certainly less than fifty. However, he invites his listeners to the supernatural level where they will believe that Jesus always existed. He is “I AM.”
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word he shall never see death.” The Jews said, “Now we know you have a devil. Abraham is dead and the prophets are dead. Yet, you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than Abraham who is dead? Or the prophets who are dead? Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is as nothing. It is the Father who glorifies me. Of him, you say, ‘He is our God.’ You have not known him, but I have known him. Abraham, your father, rejoiced to see my day. He saw it and was glad”
They said, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The crowd turns hostile, claiming that Jesus has a devil.
- Jesus claims no glory for himself. All his glory comes from the Father.
- However, the crowd is ignorant of the Father (although he is their God) and cannot understand the Son.
- Only at the end does Jesus make his greatest revelation.
- When the crowd asks “Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus reveals his inmost secret.
- He is eternal. Before Abraham was even created, Jesus existed. “I AM,” he says.
- They shake their heads in disbelief.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, your works, your miracles, and your healings only hint at who you are.
- You existed forever and you freely chose to enter history. To help me!
- You were with the Father and you came down to earth. To save me!
- Filled with heavenly glory, you emptied yourself. To bless me!
- You were obedient unto death. To raise me up!
- My mind cannot grasp these truths. Your love overwhelms me.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will try to realize that the Father has loved me in Christ from all eternity.
+ I will receive Communion often because I AM is my food and drink.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Abraham saw my day and was glad. You are not yet fifty years old.