Gleanings – Reckoning

John 8:47-59

“You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?”

Surely the Jews Jesus is addressing are not dumbfounded that one who claims to be the Son of Man also claims to have seen Abraham. They believed in miracles after all. Red Sea sound familiar? Superior armed forces have been routed throughout their history. The waters of the Jordan have been dammed up. Furnaces have been neutralized, the mouths of lions closed. Surely the Son of Man can transcend his less than fifty years of earthly existence?

They are offended by his claims of divinity and his adding insult to injury when He suggests that Abraham rejoiced in his coming. They take up stones when Jesus says “I am.” None but God alone says “I am.”

And in that way the Jews he is addressing at the moment probably represent all of us. God at a distance is safe, God in your face in Jesus not so much. Religious acknowledgement is easier than relating personally. Intellectual assent is so much easier than following obediently. God is now before them in Jesus and He is a forced to be reckoned with.

I understand their angst. Too often it resonates with me.

And yet, the force remains. He knows my sitting down. He knows my rising up. I cannot hide. Reckoning is coming.

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