John 8:48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
What is the general theme of the passage?
The Jews called Jesus a Samaritan! It was a racial slur that suggested he was the halfbreed product of one who’s father is unknown. Can you believe it? God uses their own mouths, filled with ignorant speech and evil intent to publicly identify His own truth against them. By their own words they admit out loud the exact truth Jesus is trying to tell them; they do NOT know His father!
What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus identifies God as His Father. God seeks Jesus’s glory. The key to never seeing death is believing Jesus Word, “before Abraham was, I am.”
Is there truth here for me?
Those Jews heard Jesus’s words wrong. They heard verse 51 as “if anyone keeps my word, he will never die.” What Jesus actually said was “I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” Over and over the book of John has confirmed the truth of eternal life for those who follow Christ. It was an idea from a commentary that became this pinprick of light that let me “see” how different those two phrases really are. I was just like those Jews, not exactly Godless but not Godly either, but there was a “day” I saw the mystery of Jesus’s Word fulfilled. I will never “see” death” because in that one moment with Jesus I crossed death’s invisible barrier. My body surely will die just as Abraham’s and the prophets did but I will never “see” death because I saw Jesus instead “and was glad” my life in Him will continue unbroken forever.