February 15, 2023 – Wednesday
John 8:24 NIV
24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.
John 8:24 NKJV
24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.
John 8:24 CJB
24 This is why I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not trust that I AM [who I say I am], you will die in your sins.
You have three versions of this verse above. Note how the NKJV has the He in italics to identify it as added, nominally for understanding and or clarity. The Complete Jewish Bible leaves out the He, but has the I AM, all in caps, making the point Jesus is saying He is God with a reference back to Exodus 3:14, 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” I believe this is wrong for two reasons. First Jesus and the Pharisees have been talking (arguing) about His status as the Messiah or the Christ. Second, if Jesus had said He was the I AM He would have immediately been accused of blasphemy. He was not.
So the he or He is correct in referring to the question of Jesus as the Christ even though the question of His status as Christ has not been mentioned since 7:41-42. After His statement in verse 24 above, the best the Pharisees could do was to ask, 25a Who are you?Jesus must have been amazed at their intentional blindness or hardheadedness because He replied in the same verse, Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. His patience is incredible to observe as we read through this.
If we got back to verse 21 we read in the first part, 21 Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Note the Once more, but more importantly note where He says, you will die in your sin (singular). The sin He is speaking of there is the act of refusing to believe. However, in verse 24 we have, you would die in your sins (plural). The plural is what results from the initial foundational sin of refusing to believe when all sins then become possible. Guzik puts it this way, “These men were religious leaders, yet lived in darkness that filled their mind and their deeds. The darkness remained because they rejected (do not believe) the light. Jesus gave them a serious warning; the day of grace would not last forever. Death would make their sinful darkness permanent.”
Once again it is made clear the consequences of believing or not believing are eternal and permanent. Or as someone once said, Eternity is a long time to be wrong. That is what everyone has to consider as they make choices in their lives.
Bottom Line: We do not have to die in our sins if we believe and repent. The question is when we will choose to believe and repent. Some want to wait until 15 minutes before midnight to choose and find the train (death) ran early and it is too late. Don’t let that be you.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your mercy is such that You do not wish us to die in our sins, but instead to accept the free gift of Grace You offer through Jesus. Thank You for this wonderful gift. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton