“I AMS” OF JESUS FROM JOHN
A PAPER EXAMINING THE THEOLOGY OF THE 7 “IAM” STAMENTS OF JOHN’S GOSPEL
WITH A MAJOR FOCUS ON THE JOHN 8: 48-59
"BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS BORN, I AM!" (V. 59B).
BIBL323 D02 201040
KOBEY A MORTENSON
BATTLE CREEK, NE
The Claims of Jesus About HimselfJohn 8: 48-59
48 The Jews answered him, "Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?" 49 "I am not possessed by a demon," said Jesus, "but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death." 52 At this the Jews exclaimed, "Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?" 54 Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." 57 "You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!" 58 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I Am!" God Gives a Name for Himself to MosesExodus 3: 13, 14
13 Moses said 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?" 14 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.' " Introduction
As an introduction to my study, as it applies to the life of Christ, we focus on the names of Jesus, specifically as to what He calls himself by the use of “I am”. The significance of this study is as it applies to our own Christian living and the focus of our faith is Jesus the Son of God. He is not simply a prophet or great teacher. He is the image of the God we worship. To get to know God, we must get to know Jesus. To get to know Jesus, we begin with learning who He was, is, and always will be. There has been some question throughout time as to whether Jesus ever referred to himself as God. We will look at this question and many more as we delve into the study of his word. If Jesus was simply a man, why does he refer to himself in the same context as God? When God spoke to Moses, He called himself the “I am”. When Jesus spoke about Himself, He also used these words, thereby beginning to unravel certain mysteries of the nature of God in dealing with his people. We see Christ as the fulfillment of those things spoken of by the prophets “unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given”. Not only was Jesus the fulfillment of prophecy, but the fulfillment of the redemptive plan of God. Without Him, the sacrifices of the Old Testament were meaningless, for they were but a picture of what would come. We are not saved by the blood of goats and sheep but by the grace of God and this grace is applied to our hearts by Jesus Christ. This work which Jesus did at Calvary could not hold such significance if He was not God himself. No man can live free of sin by that of his own works. We are by nature prone to failure in the satisfying of our flesh. Only God and his majestic power could sustain a human life free to the tendencies of sinfulness. If Jesus were simply a man, He’d be no different than us. If He were simply a man, our faith would be placed in a hopeless Deity. It is unfortunate, perhaps, that I am not able to take the time to delve into the proof of His resurrection. Christ’s suffering, as it applies to our faith and ability to be washed of our...