November 16, 2021 Faith Bible Church

"Who Are You?" - Letters to the Prison

"Who Are You?" - Letters to the Prison

From the series Letters to the Prison


Hello, everyone.  If you’ve been enjoying these posts, be sure to thank the people who’ve made them available to you.  Also, if you need a Bible, ask for one!

We’re seeing, in John 8:14-29, that Jesus continues to say profound, shocking, and challenging things about himself to the Jews as he continues to teach publicly in the temple during the Feast of Booths.  He repeatedly equates himself to God in ways that cause the Jewish leaders to want to arrest him.  But no one does “because his hour had not yet come” (John 8:20).

It is interesting to note that the Jewish leaders understand what Jesus is saying about himself well enough to want to arrest him for it… but when he makes it plain to them (and to us) that unless we believe in him, we will die in our sins (John 8:24), they respond by asking:

“Who are you?” (John 8:25)

So, they’re faced with the question (as we all are):  Is Jesus who he says he is?  And when Jesus says who he is plainly –he reminds them that he has done so from the beginning (John 8:25)—they refuse to accept his answer… and perhaps even mockingly ask “who are you?”… like “who do you think you are?”  So, their questions aren’t borne of a lack of clarity about what Jesus is saying about himself, they are an extension of their unbelief.  They don’t want to believe, so they keep questioning.  Is that like us today?  Do we really trust what Jesus says about himself?  Or do we beg the question in order to buy more time to not obey him?  “But Jesus… how do I really know you’re who you say you are?  I’ll keep doing whatever I feel like doing until I get a clearer answer from you…”  

That’s a dangerous game for us.  Jesus makes it plain that our work is to trust and obey him –to believe in him (John 6:29).  If we’re busy begging the question while continuing in our sin, we will die in our sins (John 8:24).  It is a clear warning… a dire and urgent warning.  And it is given in a passage where Jesus makes his authority to judge clear, also:

“I judge no one.  Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me…” and… “I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.”  -John 8:15, 16, 26

Jesus, as he was speaking to the Jews in the temple that day, was not there to judge them –even though he had full authority to do so in accordance with the Father’s perfect will.  Today, we too are living in a time of grace, not judgment.  But the day when Jesus will judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:41; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5) is coming.  There will come a day in each person’s life –the day we die—when Jesus will indeed judge each of us (Hebrews 9:27-28).

What will our fate be?  What is our answer to the question:  Is Jesus who he says he is?  And do our actions match what we claim to believe?

Pray, brothers and sisters, that we would each be courageous in our obedience to Jesus… that our words would match our acts… that our true belief in Jesus would show itself in our love for him and for one another…  Amen!  Until next week…  we love you!

Dean A.