John Piper Shares What He Considers to be the ‘Most Outrageous’ Thing Jesus Ever Said in Passion 2020 Sermon

Theologian John Piper gives a sermon at Passion 2020 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Jan. 1, 2020. | Passion/Kendra Harrell

Theologian John Piper shared what he considers to be Jesus’ “most outrageous” statement as he delved into the topic of fame during his sermon before tens of thousands at Passion 2020 in Atlanta on Wednesday.

Piper, an American Reformed Baptist pastor and founder of, kicked off the annual young adult gathering’s New Year’s Day session with a 45-minute sermon stressing why Christians must desire the name and fame of Jesus more than anything else in their life.

“For over 20 years now, the flag that’s been flying over Passion Conferences is from the Prophet Isaiah 26:8,” the 73-year-old Piper explained. “You’ll find it on the website and you can read on the screen. It goes like this. ‘Yes Lord, walking in the way of your truth, we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and Your renown are the desire of our soul.’”

“It’s never changed from 1997,” Piper added. “So yes, Lord, we wait for you. 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.”

Piper explained that when God revealed His name as Yahweh in Exodus 3, He said, “I am who I am” as if to say “my name is my being.”

“So when you desire the name, you desire the person. When you desire the renown, you desire the fame of the person,” Piper stressed. “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 continued by referencing Jesus’ words from John 8:58: “The most outrageous thing Jesus ever said was ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’”

“So when you desire the name and you say, ‘Your name and Your fame are my desire.’ You mean Yahweh … who is Jesus,” Piper said.

Piper went on by saying that Passion, which was founded in the 1990s by Louie and Shelley Giglio, is “built on the deity of Christ.”

Piper said he is praying for those in attendance and watching at home for their greatest desire to be for Jesus to be globally renowned. But he warned that it should not be a “private desire.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith