Theologian and author John Piper revealed during his sermon at Passion 2020 in Atlanta Wednesday what he believes to be Jesus’ “most outrageous” statement.
Piper shared the revelation during his 45-minute talk about why Christians need to desire the name and fame of Jesus above all other things, according to a report from The Christian Post about the annual conference.
“Lord, we wait for you,” Piper preached. “We want You, we desire You. And the reason that I say You and not just Your name or Your fame is first because that’s what the text says — we wait eagerly for You — [and also] because that’s what the name means. Your name is Your being in the Bible.”
The 73-year-old preacher said when God described himself in Exodus 3 as “I am who I am,” it was as if the Lord was claiming, “My name is my being.”
“So when you desire the name, you desire the person,” he explained. “When you desire the renown, you desire the fame of the person. Now, on this side of the incarnation, He has another name. The name is Jesus. I don’t know if you’re as amazed as I am by these outrageous things Jesus said.”
Piper went on to reference John 8:58, in which Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” He described that statement as “the most outrageous thing Jesus ever said” because “when you desire the name and you say, ‘Your name and Your fame are my desire,’ you mean Yahweh … who is Jesus.”
The sermon came during the Passion 2020 conference, which was held in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, where 65,000 young people filed in to ring in the new year, CBN News reported.
Passion was founded in the 1990s by pastors Louie and Shelley Giglio. The couple have been joined this week by a slew of Christian speakers, including Piper, Ravi Zacharias, Tim Tebow, Christine Caine, Levi Lusko, and Sadie Robertson.