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cover art: God the Father Honors Jesus

God the Father Honors Jesus

John 8:48-59

Jesus Talks About Himself and Abraham

48 The Jews there answered, “We say you are a Samaritan. We say a demon is making you crazy! Are we not right when we say this?”
49 Jesus answered, “I have no demon in me. I give honor to my Father, but you give no honor to me. 50 I am not trying to get honor for myself. There is one who wants this honor for me. He is the judge. 51 I promise you, whoever continues to obey my teaching will never die.”
52 The Jews said to Jesus, “Now we know that you have a demon in you! Even Abraham and the prophets died. But you say, ‘Whoever obeys my teaching will never die.’ 53 Do you think you are greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus answered, “If I give honor to myself, that honor is worth nothing. The one who gives me honor is my Father. And you say that he is your God. 55 But you don’t really know him. I know him. If I said I did not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I obey what he says. 56 Your father Abraham was very happy that he would see the day when I came. He saw that day and was happy.”
57 The Jews said to Jesus, “What? How can you say you have seen Abraham? You are not even 50 years old!”
58 Jesus answered, “The fact is, before Abraham was born, I AM.” 59 When he said this, they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus hid, and then he left the Temple area.

Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 43 – God the Father Honors Jesus
How did God the Father honor Jesus?
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 43 – God the Father Honors Jesus

“God had faith in Jesus. He let Jesus come down to the world to save us.” Aliana, 9

“God is so powerful, but I think that power comes from LOVE!” Angelina, 9

“Jesus died on the cross, but he rose again and God gave Jesus all of the people as followers. God glorifies him and loves Jesus. Jesus got all honor and all glory from God.” Sophia, 10

“One way he honors Jesus is giving Jesus the power to miraculously perform miracles down on earth. A few of them were the healing of the leper, which was a historical day, the healing of the blind man, and the resurrection of the daughter. Another way he honored Jesus was giving him his disciples, kind people who followed Jesus. He also helped him resist temptation because God was on his side. Those are just a few of the ways God honored Jesus.” Thomas, 11

“God honors Jesus in many astounding ways. He called Jesus his son. Secondly, God granted Jesus power to do many miracles. Jesus, who was fully human, lived a sinless life and died the perfect death in our place. Only his death would satisfy God’s wrath, because he was sinless. Since Jesus died for us, God promised that he would forever be glorified.” Galilee, 11

“God was faithfully with Jesus through his ministry. Although Jesus was human, God still granted him the ability to perform miraculous miracles because he was his son. Jesus never did anything for himself. He always did it for God his father. God protected Jesus when Jesus, who was teaching some men, was about to get stoned. God was and is always with Jesus.” Justin, 12

Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 43 – God the Father Honors Jesus
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 43 – God the Father Honors Jesus
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 43 – God the Father Honors Jesus

48 The Jews there answered, “We say you are a Samaritan. We say a demon is making you crazy! Are we not right when we say this?”

What do you do when someone calls you a name?

The Jews hated the Samaritans. They were a mixture of Jew and Gentile (non-Jew). The Samaritans did not recognize Jerusalem as the central place to worship God. Several times a year, Jews traveled to Jerusalem for special celebrations or feasts to worship God. To call a Jew a Samaritan in Jesus’ day might be similar to calling someone a Nazi today. It’s the worst thing you could say about someone.

Remember, when Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)? In the parable, a traveler was beaten, robbed and left on the side of the road to die. A Jewish priest and a Levite passed by the man without helping him. A Samaritan man helped the man by bandaging his wounds and paying for his stay at an inn where his wounds could heal.

The Jews developed a lot of spiritual pride about being God’s chosen people. Yes, God did choose them to be a light to the world (Isaiah 49:6). Instead of letting God’s light shine into the Gentile world, they looked down at those who were not fully Jewish. As God’s chosen people, they had all the advantages, but they blew it. Now, all who trust Jesus as their savior are God’s chosen people.

The Levites under God’s law served as priests to God for the Jewish people (Exodus 28:1-4). Now, all who believe in Christ are priests unto God (I Peter 2:5-9). Like so many things about Israel, they were shadows of a greater reality to come.

In our sinfulness, we do the same thing as the religious Jews of Jesus’ time. We reject those who are different from us. What we must know is that every person is created in God’s image. Christ died for every person, even those who commit gross sins that we might never do. God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.

Even worse than calling a Jew a Samaritan is to say he is demon-possessed. The Jews added to the law given by God to Moses for Israel. They invented laws so that they wouldn’t get close to breaking the law that God gave. They created a religious system.

Let’s look at the day of rest that God gave to Israel. God told the Jews to rest on the seventh day, which is called the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11).

The Jews turned this wonderful day of rest into a debate about the smallest things. For example, the religious Jews said that an egg could not be boiled on the Sabbath. If this isn’t silly enough, they said you could not put the egg into a hot cloth or into the hot sand.

When Jesus healed a lame man on the Sabbath and told him to pick up his bed and walk, the religious Jews went crazy (John 5:1-23). They wanted to kill Jesus.

Jesus threatened the entire religious system of the Jews. They couldn’t deny Jesus’ miracles and teaching, so they called him names. The religious Jews called Jesus a Samaritan, and then they said a demon controlled him.

49 Jesus answered, “I have no demon in me. I give honor to my Father, but you give no honor to me. 50 I am not trying to get honor for myself. There is one who wants this honor for me. He is the judge. 51 I promise you, whoever continues to obey my teaching will never die.”

About religious people, Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe writes: “The most difficult people to win to the Saviour are those who do not realize that they have a need. They are under the condemnation of God, yet they trust their religion to save them.”

Furthermore, Wiersbe says they are promoting a living death: “These are the people who crucified Jesus Christ, and Jesus called them the children of the devil.”

Jesus never sought honor for himself. He only wanted honor for his heavenly Father. Jesus knew that the honor from people means nothing. Religious people are famous for seeking honor for themselves, but they are not the only ones.

We live in a time when so many seek honor and popularity. They so much want praise from people. You can’t even buy food at the grocery store without seeing magazines that promote celebrities.

There is only one true celebrity in the universe. His name is Jesus Christ. He did not seek honor for himself as religious leaders and Hollywood celebrities do. God the Father has exalted Jesus’ name above all names, yet he didn’t seek this honor for himself.

If you seek honor for yourself, you will be chasing rainbows that soon fade. You may get some honor for yourself, but it will not last. The only lasting honor is when God recognizes Christians who have faithfully served him. His judgment is all that matters.

Jesus will evaluate all Christians’ time on Earth not to decide where they will live forever, but to decide whether they will share his glory and honor in his eternal kingdom. By believing in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and his resurrection from the dead, we are born again into God’s family. If we allow Jesus to live his life through us, he will honor us by allowing us to rule with him in his kingdom (Galatians 2:20, I Corinthians 3:9-15, Revelation 3:21).

There are many false Bible teachers who will try to say you must obey God to go to heaven. They will take a verse like John 8:51 to try and prove their false teaching: “I promise you, whoever continues to obey my teaching will never die.”

Often, these false Bible teachers don’t tell you exactly what you must do to go to heaven. Why is that? When you trust in something you do for God, you can never be sure of your salvation. You can never know if your obedience is enough. Only Jesus obeyed God all the time. His obedience led him to die on the cross to pay for our sins. God raised Jesus from the dead to show that he was totally satisfied with his payment for our sins.

What did Jesus teach about avoiding eternal death or separation from God?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16 NKJV). Also, read John 5:24 and John 6:47.

If you obey Jesus’ teaching about how to have everlasting life, you will believe in Christ alone as your only hope for eternal life. Once you believe in Jesus as your savior, you will never die. Yes, your physical body will die or be changed instantly when Jesus returns. The invisible parts of you (spirit and soul) will live with God forever. God will give you a new body that will never get sick or die. You will live with God forever and avoid eternal death. You will never be separated from God.

52 The Jews said to Jesus, “Now we know that you have a demon in you! Even Abraham and the prophets died. But you say, ‘Whoever obeys my teaching will never die.’ 53 Do you think you are greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

Jesus was born into the human race, but he was never created. As God, he always existed. The Jews who questioned Jesus couldn’t imagine that Jesus was the one who appeared to Abraham before he was born as a baby in Bethlehem. An appearance of Jesus before he was born as a baby in Bethlehem or after his resurrection is called a Christophony. It’s an appearance of Christ.

Did Jesus Christ appear to Abraham and speak with him? Yes!

In Genesis 18, Abraham saw three men. Even though they looked like men, the conversation with one of them shows that they were from heaven.

One of the “men” told Abraham that his wife would have a child, even though she was past the age when women normally give birth to children (Genesis 18:9-12). In Genesis 18:13, the Bible says “Then the LORD said to Abraham…” Most of the Old Testament Bible is written in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew word for “LORD” in this verse is “Jehovah” or God. Because Jesus is spokesperson for God the Father, most Bible scholars believe this is a Christophony. It’s an appearance of Christ before he was born to Mary. Remember, Jesus was born as a man, but he always existed as God.

54 Jesus answered, “If I give honor to myself, that honor is worth nothing. The one who gives me honor is my Father. And you say that he is your God. 55 But you don’t really know him. I know him. If I said I did not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I obey what he says. 56 Your father Abraham was very happy that he would see the day when I came. He saw that day and was happy.”

“Self-admirers are self-deceivers,” wrote Bible scholar Matthew Henry.

Jesus did not seek people’s approval. By doing God’s will, he only sought the approval of his heavenly Father. He knew that the only honor that mattered would come from God. Remember what God the Father said at Jesus’ baptism?

“A voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the one I love. I am very pleased with him,’” (Matthew 3:17).

Abraham saw something of Jesus’ day. How much he saw, we don’t know. But whatever he saw, it made him very happy.

No joy can compare with the joy of faith. How could you not be happy if God favored you the way he favored Abraham? Abraham was happy for himself and happy for what God promised to do through him.

God promised that a great nation would come from a son that would be born to him and his wife in their old age (Genesis 17:1-7). Abraham was 100 years old and his wife (Sarah) was 90 when their son Isaac was born.

God changed Abraham’s name from Abram to Abraham, which means father of many nations (Genesis 17:5-6). God promised that all the nations of the world would be blessed through Abraham’s family (Genesis 22:18).

How are all the nations blessed through Abraham?

God sent his son (Jesus Christ) to Earth through the Jewish people (Abraham’s family). Later, God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to him. At the last moment, God told Abraham to put down his knife and sacrifice a ram instead (Genesis 22:1-18). In the New Testament, we learn what Abraham was thinking when he obeyed God by offering his son as a sacrifice to God. “He believed that God could raise people from death,” (Hebrews 11:19a).

Abraham knew that God would keep his promise to bless the world through his son. Even if God had to raise Isaac from the dead, Abraham believed God could do it.

In Abraham’s willingness to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, we see a picture of what God did for us. It is difficult to know exactly what Abraham understood about the future sacrifice God would make for us. Certainly, Abraham understood the agony of offering his own son as a sacrifice. In this way, he must have known something of the great cost of God’s sacrifice for our salvation.

57 The Jews said to Jesus, “What? How can you say you have seen Abraham? You are not even 50 years old!”
58 Jesus answered, “The fact is, before Abraham was born, I AM.” 59 When he said this, they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus hid, and then he left the Temple area.

Because these religious Jews did not believe Jesus was God, they could not imagine anything beyond Jesus’ lifetime. They did not know that Jesus existed as God before he was born as a baby in Bethlehem. Jesus is the unique person of the universe. He is fully God and fully man in one person. When he walked on the Earth, his glory as God was hidden.

When Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I Am,” the Jews picked up stones to throw at him. Every Jew knew the story of Moses talking to God in the burning bush. When Moses asked God his name, God said, “I Am Who I AM,” (Exodus 3:14). Everyone understood that Jesus claimed to be God when he said, “I Am.”

Because it was not God’s time for Jesus to be arrested and crucified, he walked out through the crowd without being stoned. Jesus had a wise but holy boldness about him. There were times when he stayed ahead of those who wanted to kill him and times when he boldly faced them without fear. He always listened to the voice of his Father.

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