Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Great and Glorious

by Richard Griffiths

Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the solemn truth, before Abraham came into existence, I am!’
John 8:58, NET

John records seven declarations by Jesus that start with the words, ‘I am’. You probably know them all: I am the bread of life (John 6:35), the light of the world (8:12), the gate (10:7), the good shepherd (10:11, 14), the resurrection and the life (11:25), the way and the truth and the life (14:6), the true vine (15:1). But there’s an eighth, this one. In many ways, it’s the greatest of them all.

You see, it doesn’t just focus on what Jesus does and what He gives; it emphasises who He is. If he’d only been saying that He existed before Abraham, He would have said, ‘Before Abraham came into existence, I was’. By saying, ‘I am’, He was echoing what God had said at the burning bush, when Moses asked what His name was. ‘I am’, God had answered (Exodus 3:14).

We know Jesus as an intimate friend, as one who loves us, forgives us, is gentle with us, is patient with us. He heals us, restores us, is always there for us. He’s all these things and much more besides. But that’s not everything. When He says, ‘I am’, He is telling us that He is God. He is glorious, majestic beyond words, utterly pure and holy. He is immeasurably powerful, undefeatable, triumphant. We are limited by time and space; Jesus is not. That’s why He can promise to be with us right up to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). John had a vision of Him on Patmos (Revelation 1:13-18). At the sight of it, he was so overwhelmed that he says, When I saw Him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead.

I remember someone once saying that there are many very loving people, but they are limited in what they can do, because they lack power and authority. And there are many very powerful people, but they are often destructive, because they lack love. Jesus is unique because He is both infinitely loving and infinitely powerful. He is the most intimate of friends, and at the same time, the most glorious King of kings and Lord of lords, the Ruler of the universe (Revelation 19:11-16). ‘Alleluia! What a Saviour!’

Why not spend a little time just praising Him for who He is?

Richard Griffiths When Richard retired from full-time Anglican ministry in Chichester in 2009, he and his wife, Sue, moved to Northumberland. He joined the ministry team at Ellel Grange in 2011, where he and Sue regularly ministered at healing retreats. They are now helping on the "Explore" team. They greatly enjoy walking in the beautiful Northumberland countryside and along the coast. Richard loves seeing God bringing people into a strong personal relationship with Him as their Father and the healing that comes with it.

 

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