SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: Who IS This Guy?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 8:48-59

Jesus had friends and He had enemies. But besides those, He also had some "frenemies" (enemies who pretended to be friends). To this crowd who at first pretended to believe (v. 31) Jesus is both confrontational and controversial. This paragraph highlights three possible identities of Jesus: two of them were his enemies' accusations and one was Jesus' own claim.


Perspective is your ability to see something. You get a different view depending on your angle. Perspective makes a difference—physically, emotionally, and philosophically. In the Gospel of John we are given heavenly perspective of Jesus. He is the Christ, Lord, Savior of the world, God in human flesh. The crowd in this text had a different perspective. They thought Jesus was a liar, fake, fraud, object of their scorn, and the brunt of their jokes. To some Jesus is bad news, but to those who know Him and know better He is good news.

This crowd thought of themselves as heaven-bound because they were descendants of Abraham. Jesus has a different perspective. He calls them liars, children of the devil, and those who don't know God.

This passage is the culmination of a heated argument. Jesus is stating the truth; the crowd is getting emotional about what they hear. Arguments begin at an intellectual level, progress to an emotional level, and finally a physical level. By the end of this argument, the crowd wants to pick up stones and kill Jesus. They have been trying to trap Jesus: physically they sent the temple police to arrest Him; in His words when they brought the woman caught in adultery.

  1. An Evil Imposter? (vv. 48-51)
    1. Their Callous Accusations
      1. Samaritan
        1. The worst thing a Jew could call a person (John 4:9)
          1. Jews hated Samaritans
          2. Would take a longer route to bypass Samaria
        2. To Jews Samaritans were: religious frauds, heretics, false teachers
          1. Rival temple with their own sacrifices, own Bible
          2. Nehemiah would not allow Samaritans to help build 
        3. Jesus broke down barriers
          1. He needed to go through Samaria–John 4:4
          2. He loved them
          3. He wanted to save the outcast
          4. Good Samaritan an example of real friendship–Luke 10:30-37
      2. Demon possessed
        1. Nuts, insane, irrational
        2. The accusations were written in the Talmud - "Jesus the Nazarene practiced magic and deceived and led Israel astray."– (Talmud Sanhedrin 107b, Sotah 47a)
        3. Calling God Satan, and Satan God
    2. His Calm Reaction - I don't have a demon
      1. When reviled He didn’t revile in return­–1 Peter 2:23
      2. Gave a soft answer–Proverbs 15:1
      3. Jesus extended another invitation to them
        1. Nicodemus­–John 3:16
        2. Crowd–John 6:50-51
  2. An Incapable Promoter? (vv. 52-55)
    1. Their Amazement at His Claims
      1. Greater than Abraham
        1. Abraham heard and obeyed and he is dead
        2. The prophets heard and spoke and they are dead
      2. Who is this guy?
      3. Jesus is controversial
        1. He said what no one else did
        2. If not true He is a liar and megalomaniac
        3. If not true, downright blasphemy and madness –Philip Schaff
    2. His Assessment of Their Condition
  3. The Eternal Creator? (vv. 56-59)
    1. His Claim to Deity
      1. Abraham recognized me as superior
      2. I AM - ego eimi
        1. Self-disclosed name of God–Exodus 3:14
        2. Direct claim to deity
      3. Jesus claims
        1. Quencher of human thirst
        2. Satisfier of all hunger
        3. Light of the world
        4. Came from heaven, not from earth
        5. Believe in Him, you will never see death
        6. Predates Abraham
      4. Later Thomas calls him "My Lord and My God"–John 20:28
    2. Their Cruel Defiance
      1. Jesus claims are true, they are committing blasphemy
      2. He is the Redeemer, Creator, Regulator of the universe, Savior, Head of the church, pre-eminent – Colossians 1:18
      3. They should be considering Him, looking to Him, worshiping Him­–John 1:1

Figures Referenced: Winston Churchill; George Bernard Shaw; Lady Astor; Phillip Schaff
Publications Referenced: Talmud Sanhedrin 107b, Sotah 47a; Encyclopedia Britannica
Cross References: Exodus 3:14; Proverbs 15:1; Luke 10:30-37; John 1:1; John 3:16; John 4:4; John 4:9; John 6:50-51; John 20:28; Colossians 1:18; 1 Peter 2:23
Greek Terms: ego eimi - I AM

Topic: The deity of Christ

Keywords: deity of Christ, I AM, blasphemy

Who IS This Guy? - John 8:48-59 |
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