Monday – October 23, 2017 – The Leader
John 8:58-59 (NIV) “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
John 18:4 (NIV) Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?
5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
The claims that Jesus made about Himself were outrageous. At least they were to a first century Jew. They had no theology that allowed them to believe that God would come in human form. But that is exactly what Jesus claimed. When He was talking to the Jews who had a semblance of belief in Him He claimed to be God. He used the “to be”verb form that God used for Himself when He was talking to Moses in the burning bush. When Moses wanted to know who he should tell the Israelites was sending him to deliver them from Egyptian bondage, God said in Exodus 3:14-15 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.’” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ “I AM has sent Me to you.” Jesus was claiming to be God.
When the detachment of soldiers came with Jewish officials to arrest Jesus in the garden you see the same claim. When Jesus answered, “I Am He.” The word “he” was added by the translators to the Greek for intelligibility sake. Jesus literally said “I AM” and the soldiers were knocked to the ground. Jesus could have continued to knock them to the ground until they gave up, but He submitted to His Father’s desire (His leader) and allowed them to arrest Him.
When Jesus spoke, He did not say, “thus says the Lord” like all of the other Hebrew prophets would have said; He said, “very truly I tell you.” When God speaks, you’d better listen.
He never claimed to have searched for the way or the truth and to have found them. He claimed to be the way and the truth. He didn’t search for the meaning of life. He is life. He didn’t search for years to find the light so that He could claim to be enlightened like Buddha and other founders of similar religions claimed. He didn’t have to find the light; He is the light.
His claims were outrageous, but so were His actions. His actions (signs and wonders) served as proof to His claims. The culminating sign was His victory over death through His resurrection from the dead, proving that He is the way, the truth and the life.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being the great leader that you are. I will follow you all of the days of my life.
Proverbs 23 | Audio
While dining with a ruler,
pay attention to what is put before you.
2 If you are a big eater,
put a knife to your throat;
3 don’t desire all the delicacies,
for he might be trying to trick you.
4 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.
Be wise enough to know when to quit.
5 In the blink of an eye wealth disappears,
for it will sprout wings
and fly away like an eagle.
6 Don’t eat with people who are stingy;
don’t desire their delicacies.
7 They are always thinking about how much it costs.[a]
“Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it.
8 You will throw up what little you’ve eaten,
and your compliments will be wasted.
9 Don’t waste your breath on fools,
for they will despise the wisest advice.
10 Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers;
don’t take the land of defenseless orphans.
11 For their Redeemer[b] is strong;
he himself will bring their charges against you.
12 Commit yourself to instruction;
listen carefully to words of knowledge.
13 Don’t fail to discipline your children.
The rod of punishment won’t kill them.
14 Physical discipline
may well save them from death.[c]
15 My child,[d] if your heart is wise,
my own heart will rejoice!
16 Everything in me will celebrate
when you speak what is right.
17 Don’t envy sinners,
but always continue to fear the Lord.
18 You will be rewarded for this;
your hope will not be disappointed.
19 My child, listen and be wise:
Keep your heart on the right course.
20 Do not carouse with drunkards
or feast with gluttons,
21 for they are on their way to poverty,
and too much sleep clothes them in rags.
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and don’t despise your mother when she is old.
23 Get the truth and never sell it;
also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.
24 The father of godly children has cause for joy.
What a pleasure to have children who are wise.[e]
25 So give your father and mother joy!
May she who gave you birth be happy.
26 O my son, give me your heart.
May your eyes take delight in following my ways.
27 A prostitute is a dangerous trap;
a promiscuous woman is as dangerous as falling into a narrow well.
28 She hides and waits like a robber,
eager to make more men unfaithful.
29 Who has anguish? Who has sorrow?
Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining?
Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns,
trying out new drinks.
31 Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is,
how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down.
32 For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake;
it stings like a viper.
33 You will see hallucinations,
and you will say crazy things.
34 You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea,
clinging to a swaying mast.
35 And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it.
I didn’t even know it when they beat me up.
When will I wake up
so I can look for another drink?”