John 8:51-59 NRSVue
51Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” 52The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ 53Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?” 54Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, ‘He is our God,’ 55though you do not know him. But I know him; if I would say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I keep his word. 56Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57Then the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Again the evangelist portrays Jesus as belonging to a higher world than his hearers. Death is the human condition, but Jesus lives beyond the borders of death. He is simply different. In my prayer I need not try to puzzle these things out. Instead I simply accept in faith the wonderful mystery of Jesus.
Jesus is saying: ‘If you want to see God, here I am!’ What should be a wonderful moment of revelation becomes horribly negative. Execution by stoning was the punishment for asserting that one is equal to God. Lord, I find you in some safe place and try to comfort you. What more can you do to show people who you are?