Abraham talks with Jesus!

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QUESTION: Did Abraham have a face to face talk with Jesus? When did they meet?

ANSWER: The Bible does record that Abraham, the father of the faithful, had at least one face to face talk with the Lord (Jesus Christ in human form). The meeting took place when, at the age of 99, Abraham was visited by three unusual strangers.

The content of Abraham's meeting and what was talked about with Jesus is found in Genesis 18. It states, "And the Lord appeared to him in the plains of Mamre . . . And he (Abraham) lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground" (Genesis 18:1 - 2, HBFV throughout).

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Abraham, when the three guests appear, also presses them to stay with him for a little while. He states, "My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, do not pass away, I pray, from Your servant. Let a little water, I pray, be brought, and wash Your feet, and rest under the tree" (Genesis 18:3 - 4). Abraham was being hospitable to the strangers based on custom, but he may have also known one of them personally.


Abraham pleads with Sarah over Hagar
Abraham pleads with Sarah over Hagar
Willem Bartsius, 1631

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary states that the "father of the faithful" was an exemplary and hospitable host and that He did all he could do to serve his guests. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary says that a person, at that time of Abraham, who was visited by an ordinary person would stand and greet their guest. If the visitor, however, was of some 'superior rank' (or a friend), the custom was for the host to bow low then lead the visitor(s) to a tent.

The word "Lord" in Genesis 18:1 is derived from the word Yehovah, the pronunciation of which is usually Jehovah. The Bible tells us in places such as Genesis 12:1, 15:1, and so on that Abraham had seen the "Lord" several other times. In Genesis 18:3 the word "Lord" is identical to the first verse in the chapter, but is in a plural form. This likely indicates that Abraham did not know, at least initially, who his visitors really were since they looked like normal humans.

It was not until after everyone had eaten that he realized the true identity of those he served and their true purpose (see Genesis 18:9 - 15). Abraham came to understand that one of the 'men' he was speaking to was none other than Jesus Christ manifested as a man! After their brief meal they would go on to talk about the penalty Sodom and Gomorrah would receive if the grievous nature of their many sins was confirmed (verses 17 - 32).

The 53rd verse of John 8 records part of a discussion between Christ and certain Jews who hated him and wanted him dead. Jesus is bluntly asked if he thinks HE is greater than Abraham and the Old Testament prophets, all of which are dead.

The amazing revelatory response of Jesus is just as blunt and to the point as the question that they asked of him. Christ told the Jews, " . . . Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day . . ." The Jews angrily shot back their answer, 'You are not yet fifty years old . . .' Christ goes on to say that before the 'father of the faithful' was even born that HE existed as the Old Testament's I AM (verse 58)! Is it any wonder why the Jews immediately took up stones to kill him!

Genesis 18's account of the meeting between Abraham and three mysterious strangers, one of which was Jesus, testifies to how highly regarded he was in God's eyes. His righteousness was worthy of a personal visit and a talk with his Creator. The Bible even refers to him as God's friend and the Eternal's friend forever (Isaiah 41:8, 2Chronicles 20:7). The New Testament confirms this status when it states, "he was called the friend of God" (James 2:23).

Additional Study Materials
Why did God want Isaac sacrificed?
Map of Abraham's Journey to Canaan
Is prayer really talking with God?
The Greatest Events in Old Testament!
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