Tuesday 10 September, 2019
Before Abraham was, I Am
“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” (John 8:58-59, NIV)
One of the interesting yet very revelatory passages to read in the Gospel according to John is Jesus’ dialogue with some of the Jewish religious leaders. Chapter eight (8) of John’s gospel is a lengthy engagement between Jesus and some Jews, notably Pharisees which ends with a revelation of the divinity of Jesus Christ which is central to John’s gospel.
After having made a statement which seemed to suggest that he had seen Abraham, Jesus proceeds to qualify his statement by declaring that “before Abraham was, I Am.” Jesus did not merely make this statement to win an argument; he was rather being honest of himself, choosing to let the Jewish men with whom he dialogued know that he is actually divine.
- How long shall you waver between two opinions?
Abraham lived over a thousand and five hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ. The declaration that “before Abraham was, I Am” actually confirms that Jesus is as eternal as the Father, that before Abraham lived, he existed. John was right in writing: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).
Indeed, before Abraham was, Jesus is. He is divine, of the same nature with the Father and the Holy Spirit. His humanity was only the full deity of God clothed in human flesh on a mission, to save mankind. We must acknowledge that Jesus Christ is man as much as he is God.
Although a right theology may not be a pre-condition at the initial stage of our salvation, it is necessary for the nurturance and growth of our faith and relationship with God. For to believe the statement ‘before Abraham was, I am’ is to believe that Jesus is God.
Prayer: Lord God, reveal yourself to me that I may grow into a full knowledge of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen!
Rev. Julius I. Tabi is a Dean of Students’ Affairs at Uganda Christian University Arua Campus. He is an ordained minister in the Anglican Diocese of Ma’di and West Nile (Church of Uganda) and serves as chaplain at Ushindi Secondary School in Arua. Julius is a student of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology of Uganda Christian University. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at MF Norwegian School of Theology. Prior to his pastoral training, Julius trained as a high school Biology and Chemistry teacher. You may reach him by completing the form below.