Before Abraham Was (John 8:51-59)

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At the end of John 8 Jesus makes several remarkable statements for which the Jews take up stones to kill him.  In addition to calling the Jews liars, Jesus says "if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death", that "Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad" and "before Abraham was, I am."  What do these statements mean? And why did they prompt the Jews to try to stone Jesus? The answers to these questions reveal much about Jesus' identity as God's Son, His divinity, His power over death, and His purpose for coming to earth — all of which should shape our understanding of Him, strengthen our faith and sharpen our priorities.