John 8:51-55
John 8:51 (KJB)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
Keep - Observe, obey or pay attention to
Keeping or obeying the commands of Jesus is an evidence that one is saved. One does not obey for salvation but they obey because they are already saved. Jesus is stating here that those who keep His sayings will never see death. The death that Jesus has in mind is spiritual death because everyone in the world dies physically unless the Lord will return first but the norm is they die physically. So physical death is not in view but eternal damnation is in view.
John 8:52 (KJB)
Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
Taste - Experience
As usual the Jews had misunderstood what Jesus was saying because they were looking at the physical aspect of death and not the second death which is eternal damnation. It is quite interesting that they did not believe Jesus was divine yet here they make an association between the words of Jesus and Abraham and the Prophets. Were they stating that maybe Jesus was around when they were alive? Or else why would they associate people who died from 450-2000 B.C approx. with the present words of Jesus. Sometimes it seems the Jews were so angry with Jesus that they did not realize some of the things they were saying. (Psa 76:10 KJV) Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
John 8:53 (KJB)
Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
They thought that Jesus was devil possessed because here the Jews are asking Him if He thinks he is greater than Abraham? They still claim that they are Abrahamís children but they are not they are Abrahamís descendants. If they were Abrahamís children they would have to be born again by the seed who is Christ. (Gal 3:29 KJV) And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Abraham was the progenitor of the nation of Israel and to claim that one was greater than him would be inconceivable. Then they asked Him if He was greater than the prophets which were sent to Israel during various times in their history. The prophets were sent by God and they wanted to know who does He think He is? Jesus has been telling them all along who He is and they refused to listen. If He was telling them the truth before, He is sure not going to change His story now. Of course Abraham is dead along with all the true prophets but they did not suffer the second death which is what Jesus is focusing on.
John 8:54 (KJB)
Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
If Jesus had claimed that He was greater than Abraham, then He would be glorifying and honoring Himself. That honor would be nothing. It would be like those today who honor themselves for doing some kind of altruistic work. The honor fades with the setting sun. Jesus is stating that He does not honor Himself but His Father in Heaven honors Him. (Prov 27:2 KJV) Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. The principle is found in Proverbs 27:2 that a person should not praise themselves but if they have done something worthy of noting, than another should raise the matter. Jesus is saying the same thing that He does not glorify Himself but the Father does because everything that Jesus does pleases the Father. Then Jesus tells them that the same Father who glorifies Him, is the same God which they claim they are of. If they vilify Jesus, then they are showing that they are definitely not of God.
John 8:55 (KJB)
Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
Jesus tells them plainly that they have not known the Father. All these years in keeping the law and tradition brought them no closer to the Father than one who is an atheist. Jesus also tells them that He knows the Father and if He denies the fact that He knows the Father, then He would be no better than the Jews who were liars. Remember, the Devil is the father of lies and these people were of their father the devil which made them liars. Jesus once again reiterates that He knows the Father and He not only knows Him but obeys His words which shows that He had an intimate relationship with His Father.