Sometime we have to repeat ourselves to be heard. At others it’s to be understood. How well am I listening to the LORD, or do I have selective hearing?
One Word –
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:13-14
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. John 8:58-59
Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 1, 2, 3; John 8
Big Idea –
The LORD revealed His Name to Moses – Yehovah, the I AM. Centuries later Jesus made the declaration “I AM.” Immediately the Jews tried to kill Him for blasphemy because they made the connection. Jesus had identified Himself as Yehovah, the I AM – the everlasting God, the LORD.
If we have been around the church we have probably heard this before. But what we probably have missed is that Jesus had actually made this declaration four other times in His dialog with the Jews before they finally heard and understood what He had said.
Jesus’ words “I am” are translated from the Greek egō eimi. Standing by themselves, these words are meaningless in English to us. When you and I use these words they are always followed by some description like, “I am hungry,” or “I am tired.”
Jesus did something like this once here in John 8 saying, “I am the light of the world” (Jn. 8:12). If we said something like that people might think we were crazy. And when Jesus said this He was immediately challenged by the Pharisees as being a liar. Jesus follows up their accusation with His second “I am” statement saying, “I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” (Jn. 8:18). Literally, this could be translated “I am bearing witness concerning myself;” the emphasis in Greek is the “egō eimi” or “I am.”
Jesus continued telling these Pharisees that they would die in their sin “unless you believe that I am he” (Jn. 8:24). Literally, Jesus says unless they believe “egō eimi” or “I am.” Jesus went on to say, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he” (Jn. 8:28). Again this is literally knowing Jesus as the “egō eimi” or “I am.” In each of these verse English translators add the pronoun “he,” but Jesus is emphasizing that He is the LORD, the great “I AM.”
Are you still tracking with me or did you get lost with the Greek? Sometimes a lot happens quickly that we miss, just like those who believed in Jesus that day. The key to this entire everything happening on this day centers in understanding who Jesus really is; He is “egō eimi” the “I am,” the LORD Yehovah.
And so we come to the climax when for the fifth time Jesus makes an “egō eimi” or “I am,”statement; “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” Finally those listening to Jesus clearly understood what they had previously missed; Jesus was calling Himself their God, the I AM.
Their reaction was to try to kill Jesus, and it’s significant that John identifies this group as “believers” (Jn. 8:31). What might the LORD be trying to communicate to us about who Jesus really is as the eternal God? Perhaps the Holy Spirit is repeating the same word to us so we might know Him who is the I AM.
If I’m to know Jesus as the I AM then I must come to understand the words written in red in my bible are not the only words of Jesus. The LORD began speaking at creation and continued to make His word known through the pages of the Old Testament; these are all the words of Jesus fulfilled in what He said as the God-Man, Emmanuel.
Yes to Yield –
LORD Jesus, forgive me for not fully understanding Who You are by the words You speak. Thank You for being patient with me. Continue to reveal the truth of Your word to me by Your Holy Spirit. Empower me to not be a hearer only, but to be a doer of Your word, one who listens and obeys. And continue to open my eyes to see You – Yehovah, the I AM, the LORD Jesus, within the pages of the Old Testament and hear Your timeless words of life.