"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was...I AM."
These final words reverberate through the marble halls to the farthest corners of the temple.
Silences hangs like a thick cloud upon the vast assembly.
“The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, ‘whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.’"
Suddenly, the significance of the words just spoken hits the priests. Turning to one another with hatred and anger in their voices they cry out, “Blasphemer! He is worthy of death because He has made Himself equal with God!”
On hearing the outcry of the priests, many people begin to gather stones.
Seeing the multitude on their side, the leaders again raise the cry, “Blasphemy!”
As stones and angry voices are lifted toward the young teacher, He calmly hides himself and silently passes through the midst of them.
This is usually where the story stops, but wait...continue on to the next chapter.
“And as He passed by”...
Who was He passing by?
The multitude who was trying to stone Him.
So...as He is fleeing for His life He sees a man, who has been blind since birth.
What will Jesus do? Will He stop and help the poor man, or will he continue to flee knowing that His attackers are only steps behind him....
What would you do?
Our loving Savior stops.
He is not worried about the angry mob. His focus is on the man who was born blind that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Gently, He approaches the man and making mud, places it on the blind man’s eyes, and tells him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam.
He was not afraid to die...he was afraid to pass the man by.
And today... He was not afraid to die...he was afraid to pass YOU by.