“Jesus answered them: ‘I solemnly declare it: before Abraham came to be, I AM.’ ” –John 8:58

Jesus is blunt. He does not beat around the bush. He is far from diplomatic. He called people “liars” (see Jn 8:55). Then He openly and clearly called Himself “God” by using the title “I AM,” the name God had given to identify Himself (Ex 3:14).

It’s not surprising that people tried to stone Him and eventually succeeded in crucifying Him. Jesus ruffled a lot of feathers, overturned the money-changers’ tables in cleansing the Temple, and unabashedly called the Pharisees “blind guides,” “fools,” “frauds,” and “whitewashed tombs” (Mt 23:13-36). Jesus was asking for trouble.

Jesus acts like He’s God. If He were only a man, He would be unreasonable, arrogant, and insensitive. However, He’s not only a man; He’s God, and therefore His conduct is justified. His behavior is abnormal for a mere man but normal for God. We will resent Jesus’ message and manner unless we acknowledge Him as God. Like people of Jesus’ times, we will be in constant conflict with Him until we bow before Him as the great I AM.

Because of the way Jesus acts, He can’t be merely a good man. He’s either a bad man or a good God. His demeanor can be reasonably interpreted in no other way. We must either adore Him or hate Him.

PRAYER: Jesus, talk to me not “man to man” but “God to man.”

PROMISE: “No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations.” –Gn 17:5

PRAISE: Joey cried at his First Confession as Jesus revealed His mercy and love.

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