When did Abraham see Jesus’ day? John 8:56-57

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And why did the Jews think Jesus was saying that he had seen Abraham when Jesus just spoke of Abraham seeing his day (and therefore him)?

John 8:56-57 (ESV)

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”

What is the logical progression here? Is there a translation issue?

I’m looking for how the Jews leaped to questioning that Jesus had seen Abraham rather than questioning how Abraham had seen this day. If you can show how they would be fine with the latter, you still need to solve why they think Jesus is claiming to have seen Abraham (and not the other way around). Or said differently, how did Abraham seeing Jesus’s day also mean or necessitate that Jesus had seen Abraham?

The main question remains how and/or when did Abraham see Jesus’ day, but I want to make sure your answer then informs our understanding of the Jew’s response.

14 Comments

  • Reply February 15, 2017

    Jim Daniel

    When he took Isaac up on Mt. Moriah to sacrifice him. The translation of the King James says that he saw the ram behind him, but the better translation would be that he saw the ram afterward. God showed him the picture of Jesus in the ram who took Isaac’s place.
    Alternatively, there is a Jewish tradition that believes that Isaac was actually killed and God resurrected him. The writer of Hebrews may be alluding to this when he speaks in chapter 11 of Abraham accounting that God was able to raise him up from the dead, from which he received him in a figure (Greek parabole or parable).
    He doesn’t have to die for Abraham to see the picture. Either way would make sense for Jesus to say Abraham saw his day.

  • Reply February 15, 2017

    Ricky Grimsley

    I think similarly with Jim Daniel here. When isaac asked about the lamb, Abraham mentioned that the lord would provide a lamb. But he provided a Ram instead implying (imo) that Abraham had some knowledge of God’s plan and the nature of the promise to his seed as talked about in Galatians 3:16.

  • Reply February 15, 2017

    Joseph Kidwell

    I have preached on this before! I believe that it was in Gen. 14:18-20 when Melchizidek who was a type of Christ served Holy Communion to Abraham and Abraham “discerned the Lord’s body” (1 Cor. 11:11:29). Abraham then paid tithes the the priest who was a type of Christ and His eternal priesthood.

  • Reply February 15, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Jim Daniel Are you Pentecostals? What is your confessional background? Your interpretations estrange me a bit sometimes

    • Reply February 15, 2017

      Jim Daniel

      Born and raised Pentecostal, went to College at Atlanta Christian College, now Point University where I graduated Magna Cum Laude. My degree was a dual major in Biblical Studies and Preaching Ministry.
      My interpretations are pretty much by the book. I follow the rules of hermeneutics that have been set down forever. We were taught to approach each text as if it were the first time we were looking at it and to let the text speak for itself. Much of whatbis being taught as Bible, especially prophecy, is more speculative than biblically accurate.
      If you are referring to the idea of the antichrist being a Muslim, check out Perry Stone’s book Unleashing the Beast or Walid Shoebat’s about 6-8 hours of video on YouTube laying out the case for it.

  • Reply February 15, 2017

    Joseph Kidwell

    I adopted this position after hearing Pastor Marvin Winans, a prominent Pentecostal Pastor (Perfecting Church) from Detroit, Michigan preach it. I believe that it’s hermenuetically sound. You can find the ‘Statement of Fundamental Truths’ on the fb page of Greater Grace & Deliverance Ministries.

  • Reply February 15, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Interesting Jim Daniel How do you see The Role of the Holy Spirit in Hermeneutics http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/the-role-of-the-holy-spirit-in-hermeneutics/

  • Reply February 15, 2017

    Jim Daniel

    First of all, the text cannot say to us something that it would not have said to the author and original audience, that effectively renders the text meaningless. Some people will say that the Holy Spirit showed them something in a text that would have been completely confusing to the original audience. I don’t believe that He does that. I believe that He will aid us in understanding what the best meaning of the text is when there are conflicting schools of thought. I also believe that He will bring unity through consensus when we allow Him to speak to us.

  • Reply February 15, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Jesus said that the original audience read Moses and the Prophets about Him and they still did not get it

  • Reply February 15, 2017

    Ben Wilson

    There are way too many parallel’s between Genesis 22 and Jesus going to Calvary to think that “Abraham seeing Jesus day” was anything other than Abraham realizing that God the Father was going to offer his son on Calvary.

    Let’s list them. . . .

    1. God told Abraham to take his Son, his only Son, that he loved, and offer him as a sacrifice. That remind you of anything?

    2. God had Abraham journey about 90 miles or so from Beersheba to the “Land of Moriah” and offer him there upon a mountain — that God would tell him about. Moriah was where Jerusalem was; the temple was built on Mount Moriah.

    3. Abraham told Isaac that God would provide Himself a Lamb for the sacrifice. When Abraham was getting ready to kill His son — the angel stopped him and provided a . . .ram caught in the bushes. It’s two different words — lamb and ram. Abraham’s prophesy was recalled when John the Baptist pointed out Jesus and said “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.”

    4. Afterwards, God repeated to Abraham some old promises and gave him a new one — that his descendants would occupy the gates of their enemies, foreshadowing Jesus’ statement that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church.

    5. Shortly after Isaac made the trip to the mountain that God told Abraham near Mount Moriah — Mount Calvary — his future bride was born. Shortly after Jesus made the trip up Mount Calvary, His future bride was born — on the day of Pentecost!!

    6. Finally, you can see the way that God liked to tell Abraham what was going to happen in the future — when Abraham interceded with God before the destruction of Sodom.

  • Reply February 16, 2017

    Angel Ruiz

    Troy Day John 8:56-57 (ESV)
    56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”
    57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”

    What is the logical progression here?

    We must look how did the Jews leaped to questioning that Jesus had seen Abraham rather than questioning how Abraham had seen this day.

    The Jews where fine with the latter… And do not question “the Day”. We need to solve why they think Jesus is claiming to have seen Abraham (and not the other way around).

    The Jews understood this was a real meeting not a Prophetic or symbolic encounter. But a real physical event.

    The main question how and when did Abraham see Jesus, according to the Jew’s response; “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”

    Let us look at the scriptures and find a physical meeting. In Genesis 18, “Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre . . . and behold, three men were standing by him . . . and bowed himself to the ground . . . So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, ‘Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes . . .'” (Genesis 18:1 – 2, 6).

    In verse 3 of chapter 18, the word “Lord” is identical to the first verse in the chapter. This likely indicates that Abram did know it was a divine visitation, but at least initially did not know the identity of his visitor since he looked like any other human beings. It was not until after everyone had eaten that he realized the REAL identity of those he served and their TRUE purpose ( Genesis 18:9 – 15). Abraham came to understand that one of the ‘men’ whom he had spoken to was none other than “YHWH”(Jesus Christ) manifested as a man!

  • Reply February 16, 2017

    Paul Hughes

    When he was “looking for a city,” and received revelation of God’s covenant with him, making him “father of many nations.”

    Gen 17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

    Heb 11:8 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.

  • Reply February 16, 2017

    Paul Hughes

    Perry Stone claims a tremendous amount of “special revelation” of Bible secrets, which some of us would call “making things up.”

    • Reply February 17, 2017

      Jim Daniel

      I don’t support everything he says, but to deny that God reveals things to his servants is to deny the Bible.

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