today's other readings are Genesis 17: 3-9 and Psalm 105
The conflict continues.
The conflict between between Jesus and his religious critics has reached a critical point. He had previously spoken openly and freely before about His intimate relationship with God the Father, and refers to Himself as I AM. Today, though, He goes further. At the conclusion of our passage, He says, "Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I AM".
His critics are stunned and enraged, Now He is claiming that He transcends history - that He existed even before Abraham, by referring to Himself as I AM - a title that God the Father only revealed hundreds of years after Abraham, when the Father spoke to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3). In reaction, His critics pick up stones so as to kill Him for blasphemy.
In a few days we will enter Holy Week. That Holy Week is one in which we are once again presented with the truth of Jesus' being - that He is the Son of God and Son of Man, both divine and human. Just like the people of His time had to, the stories and events of Holy Week compel us to answer the question, "Who is Jesus for me?"