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John 8:51-59

The Word of God

Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.’ The Jews said to him, ‘Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, “Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.” Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, “He is our God”, though you do not know him. But I know him; if I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him and I keep his word. Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.’ Then the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.’ So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

John 8:51-59
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The Jesus of the Gospel knows who he is. He knows he meets opposition from the leaders of religion and state; he sees through the hypocrisy of religion and knows he is from God. People can make God in their likeness. Let prayer keep me humble of heart and mind.
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    • Abraham’s life was the start of salvation history. In advanced old age he answered God’s call to undertake an immense journey towards the Promised Land. He believed in the promises God made to him. Four thousand years on, we are being called as a Pilgrim People, and the promises are still being made to each one of us.
    • “Whoever keeps my word will not taste death”. Lord, do I truly believe this? Then, like the woman in the gospel, let me hear each word of yours and keep it. I am to be ‘a keeper of the word’.
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    • Again the evangelist portrays Jesus as belonging to a higher world than his hearers. Death is the human condition, but Jesus lives beyond the borders of death. He is simply different. In my prayer I need not try to puzzle these things out. Instead I simply accept in faith the wonderful mystery of Jesus.
    • Jesus is saying: ‘If you want to see God, here I am!’ What should be a wonderful moment of revelation becomes horribly negative. Execution by stoning was the punishment for asserting that one is equal to God. Lord, I find you in some safe place and try to comfort you. What more can you do to show people who you are?
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