“The Jews answered him, ‘Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”
‘I am not possessed by a demon,’ said Jesus, ‘but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I am not seeking glory for myself, but there is One who seeks it, and He is the judge. I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.’
At this the Jews exclaimed, ‘Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?’
Jesus replied, ‘If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know Him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.’
‘You are not yet fifty years old,’ the Jews said to him, ‘and you have seen Abraham!’
‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” ~ John 8:48-59
How do we know these particular Jews were upset with Jesus?
They called him demon-possessed and a Samaritan, whom the Jews hated most. They also said “Who do you think you are?” which tends to be something angry people say. And finally they got ready to play Rocks with him, which is not nearly as friendly a game as it sounds.
What did Jesus say about how Abraham viewed Him, and how did the Jews respond?
He said that Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing His day. The Jews were confused and upset.
What was Jesus claiming when He said “I am”?
He was claiming to be God, the Creator. He knew the Jews knew the Scriptures, including Exodus, where (in verse 3:14) God says to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.'”
If Jesus was lying about being God, would you be able to trust His other claims? Why or why not?
No. For one thing, it’s very difficult to repair your trust in someone once it’s been broken. Plus, claiming to be God is no small claim.