John 8:12–59 (NKJV)
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”John 8:12-27
13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.”
14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. 17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”
19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”
Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”
20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.
21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”
22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?” 23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”
And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”
27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.
Jesus announced Himself as the light of the world. Immediately the Pharisees began to rebuke his self-revelation and debated several points as to His identity, getting nowhere because they were spiritually unaware and emotionally unwilling to share the glory with a man that did not fit their image of what the Messiah should look like.
28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.John 8:28-47
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”
39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.”
Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
Jesus again identified with the Father and declared Himself as the truth, offering freedom to those who believed in Him. The Pharisees could see that some were beginning to believe, and attacked Jesus again, declaring Him to be of His father the devil. The denied that He was of God. The vitriol was palpable, yet Jesus did not flinch.
48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”John 8:48-59
49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”
52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”
54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
The Jews attack Jesus once again, resorting to name-calling and accusation. The said that He was a Samaritan, a somewhat hated class of mixed-heritage Jewish descendants. They also said that He was demon-possessed, which He clearly denied. They said that His assertions of the eternal efficacy of faith in His teachings was false, because Abraham believed in God, yet he was dead. They threw derogatory words and denunciation at Him, and them sought to throw literal rocks at Him in their hatred for His final announcement in this exchange when He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” This put them over the top, as they picked up stones and purposed to kill Him on the spot, but again Jesus escaped untouched, walking right through the midst of them.
Jesus upset the political and religious order of the day. He turned the societal and cultural norms of His day on their ear. He made waves, but they were waves of deliverance and waves of reform that were long overdue. The system that was never meant to be eternal was being uprooted, or at least fulfilled, and Jesus was the author, the architect, of the new way. I AM was His declaration of His divine directive, His identification as one with God Jehovah of the Old Testament, His statement of Heavenly origin and authority to make things right and whole to those who believe. Believe, and be whole. See the Light of the World, and walk in His ways. Know the Truth and be free. I AM has come!
Artwork from http://studentdevos.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/pablo-47.png and https://www.amazingfacts.org/bible-study/scripture-pictures/the-book-of-john and https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RirDP9mIjbA/XB0eD13_M_I/AAAAAAAABzM/UaczBRpeAX4JGqVVPmNC6JZQOjLsofRngCLcBGAs/s400/I%2BAm.jpg