“I am.”
A powerful phrase in the scriptures.
God’s revelation of self to Moses at the burning bush (Ex 3:14.)

Then, when Jesus says it, people are moved; sometimes to anger and judgment, and as we will see, sometimes in fear.

Now, saying “I am” would have been common like it is today. “I am… …going to mow the lawn, …watch the game, …get groceries, …remember to pick up the kids this time.” It was normal and common. That’s why the religious leaders didn’t freak out when Jesus said:

I AM the bread of life (John 6:35)
I AM the light of the world (John 8:12)
I AM the door (John 10: 9)
I AM the good shepherd (John 10:11)
I AM the resurrection, and the life (John 11:25)
I AM the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)
I AM the true vine (John 15:1)

When the religious leaders heard these phrases, they listened to him, they questioned him about his meaning, and they debated with him. But there are two places where Jesus says “I am,” listed as the Greek phrase “egō eimi” that met a very different response. In John 8:58-59, “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’ So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”

This time they wanted him dead for blasphemy. This time there was no subtlety. They believed he was breaking the 3rd commandment and was using the Lord’s name as his own. But it wasn’t vanity, and it wasn’t a mistake. Jesus proclaimed who he was/is/and will be.

Later, in the book of John, when the soldiers went to arrest Jesus in the middle of the night and found his group in the darkness where Judas knew they often went, one of the soldiers called out that they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said to the soldiers “Egō Eimi,” and the soldiers, “drew back and fell to the ground” (John 18:6.) At this phrase in the darkness, military men backed up and got knocked over. Coming from Jesus, this was a powerful phrase indeed.

Does the person and nature of Jesus keep you humble and loved or is there a part of you still fighting to be the boss of our creator and savior Jesus?

Pastor John Riley

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