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Verse 59

They took up stones therefore to cast at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

Interpreting Jesus' words as blasphemy, they had a notion to stone him. Their error was that of not believing Jesus' words, but it was not, in this case, a misunderstanding of what his words meant. One could wish that all exegetes had as clear a view of what Jesus meant as did those enemies who took up stones to kill him. The statement that Jesus existed before Abraham is an affirmation of his deity.

He hid himself and went out of the temple ... As Reynolds wrote:

There is no need to imagine more than the exercise of his majestic energy before which demoniacs quailed, Pilate trembled, and the guards of the temple fell on their faces. The crisis was approaching. How often would he have gathered them, and given them eternal life, but they would not.[9]

One can only be amazed at the patience, persistence, and determination with which Jesus struggled to break down the chasm of separation between himself and the leaders of the chosen people; and, when all prospect of healing their hearts was past, it is equally amazing to behold the majesty and authority with which he declared his Godhead and proceeded to deliver God's message on earth.

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