Intellectualizing Isn’t Believing – Sunday Thought For The Day
John 8:58 reveals that sadly, even today, there are those who claim to followers of Christ, but do not fully understand His preeminence. It reads: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (KJV)
The next verse, John 8:59, shows the reaction of the Jews to Christ’s declaration of His true self. It reads: “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” (KJV)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown’s Bible Commentary explains what those Jews and many people today intellectualize, but refuse to believe: “Before Abraham was, I am—The words rendered “was” and “am” are quite different. The one clause means, “Abraham was brought into being”; the other, “I exist.” The statement therefore is not that Christ came into existence before Abraham did (as the Arian heresy affirms), but that He never came into being at all, but existed before Abraham had a being; in other words, existed before creation, or eternally (as John 1:1 KJV). In that sense the Jews plainly understood Him, since “then took they up stones to cast at Him,” just as they had before done when they saw that He made Himself equal with God (John 5:18 KJV).”
Herein lies the problem with so many today. People, even self-professing Christians know who the Word of God tells us Christ is; but they refuse to believe it and by their often times hostile reactions to the truth, seek to attack those of us who proclaim this truth.
Many reject the “Truth,” because if they were to accept the “Truth”, they would also have to accept they are not only wrong, but in very real danger of eternal damnation. That said, the “Truth’s” offense cannot deter us from speaking it; regardless of the threats and personal attacks directed at us for speaking it.
John 8:33-47 KJV
33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here