Before Abraham Was, I AM

Why did Jesus' "Before Abraham was, I AM" upset the Jews?

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John 8:56-59 Before Abraham Was, I AM

JOHN 8:56-59  56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Why did they take up stones?
They were going to stone Jesus to death.

When would you expect them to be inflamed enough to try to kill Him?
John 8:44, when Jesus called them the sons of the devil.

What was worse than being called the sons of the devil that made them grab stones to kill Him?
Jesus' declaration, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58)

What’s the big deal about saying, "Before Abraham was, I AM"?
“I AM” is the name God gave Himself in Exodus 3:13-14: "Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Jesus was declaring to them in terms that are crystal clear to them that He is God, and that's what made them try to kill Him.

How did Jesus hide Himself and go through "the midst of them" (John 8:59)?
Probably the same way He did in when the people tried to kill Him upon hearing His very first sermon in Nazareth: "So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way." (Luke 4:28-30) Walking invisibly through a crowd is easy for God.

Did Abraham really see Jesus and "was glad" as He said in John 8:56?
The answer is found in a fascinating passage in Genesis. Before continuing below, please click on and carefully read Genesis 14 and Genesis 15, including the questions and answers. Note that Abraham is still called, "Abram," in these early chapters of Genesis.

So did Abraham see Jesus and "was glad" as Jesus said in John 8:56?
You bet. Jesus saved his life, as He saved ours.

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