Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Am... Jesus

After God spoke to Moses through a burning bush Moses replied to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'
So when in Jesus’ response to the Pharisees’ question “Who do you think you are?” Jesus replied “‘Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.’‘ You are not yet fifty years old,’ the Jews said to him, ‘and you have seen Abraham!’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I AM!’   At this, they picked up rocks to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.”
According to,”The violent response of the Jews to Jesus’ “I AM” statement indicates they clearly understood what He was declaring—that He was the eternal, incarnate God. Jesus was equating Himself with the "I AM" title God gave Himself in Exodus.  

If Jesus had merely wanted to say He existed before Abraham’s time, He would have said, “Before Abraham, I was.” The Greek words translated “was” in the case of Abraham, and “am” in the case of Jesus, are quite different. The words chosen by the Spirit make it clear that Abraham was “brought into being,” but Jesus existed eternally (see
John 1:1). There is no doubt that the Jews understood what He was saying because they took up stones to kill Him for making Himself equal with God (John 5:18). Such a statement, if not true, was blasphemy and the punishment ascribed by the Mosaic Law was death.   But Jesus committed no blasphemy; He was and is God, the second Person of the Godhead, equal to the Father in every way.”

Jesus used the same phrase “I AM” in seven declarations about Himself in the Gospel of John.  In all seven, He combines I AM with tremendous metaphors which express His saving relationship toward the world.  This Sunday at the Celebration Pastor Brant and I will be teaching on the deep implications of Jesus saying “I am… the light of the world.

Your pastor and partner in ministry,

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