This Week's Focus Passage


Focus Passage: Mark 12:26

‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’

In order to correct the Sadducees error regarding the resurrection, Jesus responded to their query about the woman who was the wife of seven brethren, ‘In the resurrection whose wife shall she be of them,’ He turned their question toward the issue of resurrection itself, rather than ‘whose wife?’ He pointed them to the statement of God of which they should have been most familiar, that statement where God declares His Name to be ‘I AM THAT I AM,’ Exodus 3:14. In having done so, God made it most clear, in the sequel, when He told Moses to tell His people that ‘I AM hath sent me unto you,’ and if that were not clear enough, He uttered the following clarifying declaration in unmistakable terms:

And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial. —Exodus 3:15

When Jesus brought forward these sentiments; these truths; these realities, He was pronouncing before His disciples and the Sadducees, and the Pharisees, and anyone else that was in the auditory, that He is Himself the great I AM. He very powerfully declared, of course, I AM the DOOR; I AM the BREAD OF LIFE; I AM the WAY; I AM THE TRUTH; I AM THE LIFE; I AM the I AM before you in flesh and blood! He stated this truth more profoundly and pointedly elsewhere when He said, ‘Before Abraham was born, I AM,’ John 8:58. He is the great I AM! He is jealous of His glory; He is also jealous of His Name; it is not simply a name; it is His memorial Name; it is Jehovah; I AM!

This is well attested by the Psalmist along with other prophets. David has exhorted us to ‘Sing praise unto Jehovah, O ye saints of his, And give thanks to his memorial name,’ Psalm 30:4. For the saints to be praising Jehovah is equivalent to giving thanks to His memorial name, according to the sweet psalmist of Israel. The human authors of Psalms 97:12, 102:12, and 135:13, concur in this understanding of ‘Jehovah, thy memorial name.’ Isaiah adds his imprimatur to these psalm-writers, when he has written, O Jehovah, have we waited for thee; to thy name, even to thy memorial name, is the desire of our soul, 26:8, to which Hosea happily enjoins the same, 12:5, ‘even Jehovah, the God of hosts; Jehovah is his memorial name. Shall we forget His memorial Name?

An account was offered regarding a certain individual facing the almost certain, and impending, event of his death. He was in hospital with a terminal illness. One of the nurses, in an attempt, in her own way and according to her own understanding, venturing at alleviating the seriousness of this man’s condition, told him that he would probably be out on the golf course in the next week. The patient, himself being an experienced saint of God, and like Simeon awaiting the Consolation of Israel, responded by advising this well-wisher that he fully expected, rather than golfing, to be sitting with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the week to come. Sadly, when this account was relayed in a church meeting with the hope of giving comfort to some elderly believers, the rejoinder which thundered back was, to the effect, ‘I’m not looking forward to sitting with Abraham, and with Isaac, and with Jacob, but with Jesus my Savior!’ Don’t these disillusioned folk realize that we are saying one and the same thing? Don’t they understand that to be sitting with the three patriarchs, according to Scripture and the very words of Jesus Himself, is tantamount; is equivalent to sitting in the kingdom with Jesus? They have embraced the popular division between the Older and the Newer Testaments to the point of ‘wrongly dividing’ the Word of Truth, 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV. This verse is better rendered, ‘handling aright the word of truth,’ ASV, or, ‘accurately handling the word of truth,’ NASB. It is an extremely sad thing that any would actually divide the word of God. God never intended His Word to be divided in such a manner as men have so done. He Himself has said, ‘What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’ Should this not have something to say to those who manifestly ‘wrongly divide the Word of Truth’ when they set aside the Older Testament, even imagining themselves as behaving graciously because they retain the Psalms of David?

It was indeed Jesus Himself who spoke these blessed words in Matthew 8:11, speaking of salvation coming for the Gentiles as well as the Jews:

‘And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.’

Do any seriously imagine that when Christ spoke these words of the many coming from the east and the west to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven, that ‘the many’ were only Jews? In fact, Jesus was speaking of Jews in the very next verse when He told his hearers that, ‘the sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into the outer darkness.’ These ‘sons of the kingdom’ were those who were trusting in their descent from Abraham rather than in any share in the faith of Abraham; they were sons of the type of the kingdom of heaven, but not sons of the true kingdom of heaven. This is further confirmed by our Lord in Luke 13:28, ‘There shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and yourselves cast forth without.’ Luke 13:28. In fact, was this not equally confirmed on the mount of transfiguration? Did not Moses and Elijah confirm these truths as they appeared before the disciples, and spoke with Jesus on that most blessed mount? Yea, let none divide what God has joined together.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


Join us Sunday at