You Say That I Am

Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant by something he said? Me (JP)? All the time!

In my most recent encounter with this, while I was listening to the Gospel of John on audio I got to the scene where Jesus is on trial. On a couple occasions, Jesus’ accusers ask him who he is. Ultimately, they want to hear him claim to be the Messiah. If he claims this, they’ll be able to convict him: they’ll argue that he can’t really be the Messiah since he didn’t keep the Sabbath day laws, and possibly other reasons too, I’m not sure. But I do know they wanted to hear him claim to be the Messiah.

jesus-and-pharisees.jpeg

Now, what struck me is Jesus’ reply to their question. They ask: are you the Messiah? Alright, here we go, what are you going to say Jesus? Sounds like I should expect a “yes” or a “no”. Instead, what he says surprised me. He says: it is you that say I am. …. What? These are the Pharisees. They don’t ‘say you are’. They have decided that you are not. What do you mean? Jesus, what do you mean???  

I reflected on our Lord’s response and wondered if he means that, like it or not, through their actions they are in effect ‘saying that he is the Messiah’. It’s their actions that are doing the talking.

Jesus’ life story was written before he lived on earth. That story, found all throughout the Old Testament, included his suffering and his death. To suffer and die included accusers, nay-sayers, those who did not believe he is who he says he is – God. Thus, by putting him on trial with the intent of killing him, the Pharisees, the accusers, the nay-sayers, they were playing out what had been predicted long ago. The sad part is that they didn’t have the eyes to see it.

Let us not be blind as those who put Jesus to death were. Let us remind ourselves who he really is – God. Then let us obey him. He created us. He wants us to become the best versions of ourselves. That requires our cooperation. That requires that we obey him. … And what is it that you command Jesus?

“Love.”

-John Paul

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One thought on “You Say That I Am

  1. Hi JP – if you notice in the Bible Jesus is willing to talk with anyone who has ears to hear aka willing to actually listen and has very little time for the religious leaders whose ears were closed.

    When He is on trial He knows that this is all show for them and they don’t care about the truth so He doesn’t answer and thereby fulfills prophecy – silent before His accusers and yes being on trial was testifying itself.

    When the High Priest abjures Jesus to tell him if He is the Messiah, the High Priest was tellin Jesus in the name of God to swear under oath that He is the Messiah – in God’s name Jesus answers swearing that He is the Messiah. It is what absurd means.

    Jesus’ response though read in English as you said should be understood more as “you said it” or most accurately It is as you say. Jesus is clearly agreeing with them and swearing to it if you will. He then goes on and seals the deal when He describes Himself as the Son of Man, synonymous with Messiah, and sitting at God’s right hand, something only the Messiah would do.

    We can miss it, but Jesus is starting loud and clear that He is the Messiah and the Jews kill Him for that – blasphemy being the charge. It is very specific that they killed Him for claiming to be the Messiah – rejecting His authority.

    It is a wonderful passage.

    Like

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