Jesus is often portrayed as a happy, go-lucky teacher who made people feel good. But in John 8, two little words almost got Jesus stoned by an angry crowd. Jesus was drawing the lines of identity between himself and the crowd. First off, he outright told the crowd they were slaves to sin. In fact, he called out all humanity as being slaves. “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” Sin means doing or thinking something that goes against God and his perfect character. Even more so, 'being sinful' means someone whose whole being is rebellious against God and misses the mark of pleasing Him. Then, he drops a bomb of thought about his identity.
Jesus knew the Jews trusted their family tree to be right with God. They considered that their sin was covered. Jesus offends them with the truth, but he does it in love. Essentially he says, “Look, I know your background, but by the way you are trying to kill me, you show who your real father is - the Devil." This situation all leads up to one of the most famous statements in Scripture.
Jesus says, “I AM.”
Jesus knowing full well that they banked on their historic family tree for right standing with God claims to be God with these sacred words. He identifies himself as God in front of their face. Keep in mind, they're looking at a 30-something-year-old adult claiming to know God in heaven and to be greater and older than their forefather Abraham. His claim was an offense to their worldview. He claimed to be divine. In that instance, he was declaring to be the eternal God of all creation, both fully human and fully God. So how did they respond? They responded with wanting him and his message gone.
How would you respond?
Many ideas float around about who Jesus is. The Book of John accounts in detail what He claimed to be and what he did while on earth. I encourage you to wrestle with his "I AM" statements. Wrestle with the real Jesus and how it (He) impacts your view of the world. He confronted the crowds in His day and still does in ours.
Some believed Him. Some rejected him. Who do you believe he is?