John 8:56-59
John 8:56 (KJB)
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
Abraham lived his life in faith in God and had seen the day of the Messiah. Of course, Abraham died about two thousand years prior to the physical coming of Christ into the world. Abraham saw the day of Messiah by faith. (Heb 11:8-10 KJV) By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. {9} By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: {10} For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Abraham saw this day by faith and rejoiced. Here the Jews were being witness to this day and they mocked and scorned at it. They could not see spiritually what Abraham saw spiritually. The reason is that Abraham was of God and these Pharisees were of the devil as Jesus pointed that out to them. Jesus was giving them a lesson in faith and as usual they could not comprehend it.
John 8:57 (KJB)
Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
Once again the Jews did not understand what Jesus was saying and here they put a worldly spin on something eternal. They were looking at Jesus and stating an age and mockingly asking Him if He saw Abraham and that would make Him over two thousand years old. Two things come into focus, the first is that when Abraham died he went into the presence of the Lord and Jesus did see Him in Heaven for two thousand years, and secondly, Abraham would have rejoiced because when Christ came to the earth the first time, it was to complete the salvation plan of God on Calvary thus securing the salvation of every believer down through the ages. So with the mocking attitude the Jews had toward Jesus, they missed out on two of the greatest truths ever told. Abraham not only rejoiced by faith when he was here on the earth but he also rejoiced in Heaven.
John 8:58 (KJB)
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Here Jesus is confirming to these Jews that He is from everlasting. The Scripture could have even said before Adam, I am. Jesus is the eternal Son of God and existed before the creation of the world and universe. (Micah 5:2 KJV) But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah even wrote that Jesus was from everlasting. The word in Hebrew is olawm which is everlasting or eternal. So, in essence, Jesus is claiming to be God because the Jews would have known the title of I am since this was how God announced himself to Moses. (Exo 3:14 KJV) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. I am was the term God used to describe Himself as the self-existent one.
John 8:59 (KJB)
Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
What Jesus had said to them had caused them to pick up stones for the purpose of stoning Him to death. They now considered Jesus to be a blasphemer because He made Himself equal with God by stating the name I am. They were ready to stone Him without first giving Him a trial to see if He was worthy of stoning. This would have been an illegal execution and would have brought the Roman authorities down on them. So Jesus hid himself in the temple and then had passed through the midst of them unnoticed. Now I believe a miracle had been performed here because in one moment they wanted to stone Jesus to death because of their anger and the next moment, Jesus had passed from their midst unnoticed. How could that have taken place unless the Jews were blinded to Jesus so He could leave? Keep in mind that it was still not the time for Jesus to be arrested because everything must be in Gods timing.