“And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “This is what you shall say to the sons of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” ” – Exodus 3:14 (NASB)
Our verse today is from a conversation God had with Moses. Moses, divinely protected from death when he was born had an amazing upbringing being trained up in the house of Pharaoh’s daughter in Egypt. The best education and training possible in the day. But he had fled from Egypt after defending one of his own people and killing an Egyptian oppressor. After 40 years in the wilderness Moses thinks he is safe but God comes and tells him to return to Egypt. You are to confront Pharaoh and lead the people out of Egypt and slavery. Moses is reluctant for several reasons and asks who he should tell his people has sent him. God reveals His name to Moses. A name that declares that He is eternally present. He has always been, He is now and He will always be. This is also a promise of God’s eternal presence with His people. He is present to help us, comfort us, guide us, and so much more. His presence never leaves us, and He will always be with us. That is the greatest comfort we can ever find, and we learn it from the very name of God: I AM.
(Good Friday & The Arrest of Jesus the Nazarene)
When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” – John 18:6 (ESV)
Of all the times Jesus used the words “I AM” to identify Himself, this occasion might be the one with the greatest impact on his audience. The Temple Police with a band of Roman soldiers have been sent to find and arrest Jesus with the help of the betrayer Judas Iscariot. Filled with Satan Judas leads them to where he knows Jesus would be with the disciples. Like many other times, Judas knew they would be camping out on the ground in an olive orchard. But, not on this night and Jesus having prayed, knows what’s next. When the arresting officials come, Jesus asks them who they are looking for. “Jesus of Nazareth” they say. “I Am He,” Jesus says. They all fall over backward. It takes two times of Jesus asking and saying “I Am.” The words which Jesus spoke are found in passages we have considered over the past few days. (Mark 6; John 6, 8, 10, 14, 15). In each of them it refers to that act of Jesus whereby he stands guard over the spiritual welfare of his own, keeping them, sustaining service, and everlasting life in the mansions above. That’s our promise today.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” – Revelation 1:8
The “I Am” in our verse today appears two more times in the Book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ. When we find in Scripture the combination of “I am” or “I am He” with the claim that He is the First and the Last, it is most certainly identifying the Son of God, Jesus Christ as the one and only God ever. Spoken by Jesus this is the claim that there is only one God and it is He. In Isaiah 43:11 God says through Isaiah “I am the LORD and besides me there is no savior.” Reflect back to the words of Jesus in John 14:6 when He told His disciples just prior to His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This is a consistent promise throughout the Bible that God is One. He is the One and only God. There is no other (Isaiah 45:22). No matter what we hear from the world religions, God has spoken “I am He and there is no other.” We trust that promise from the mouth of God.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” – John 14:6-7 (ESV)
Our promise today is pure, and powerful. For all who hope to live in heaven after our time on earth is over, Jesus is the only Way there. There are no options to having faith in Jesus the Christ. Jesus is speaking to His disciples about His death and departure and they still do not understand. Jesus tells them He is going to be leaving them but one day He will return for them. “You know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:4) But Thomas says, “No, Lord we don’t know where you are going, how do you expect us to know the way?” Thomas needed to understand that “The Way” was not a pathway or route to heaven but the means to receive eternal life and a reservation e in heaven, then these words make sense. Jesus the Son of God and God the Father; – to know one, is to know the other and The Way. No pretense, no self-effort, no good enough, no buying our way; it is only in believing Jesus, His sacrifice and resurrection. If you know Jesus as Savior and Lord, you know God the Father, you know The Way.
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:9-10 (ESV)
It is this chapter Jesus uses the tending of sheep by a shepherd and compares that practice to His purpose and plan for our lives. One of the most important responsibilities is protection of the flock. The pens or sheep folds that kept sheep safe were often circular with low walls and only one opening. The opening did not always have a gate and the Shepherd would lay across the opening as a door keeping the sheep inside and safe. Thieves were a threat and when the shepherd was not doing their job they would be a danger. Christ says He is the Door in the fold where He keeps us, His church. What greater security does the church of God have? Our Lord Jesus is between us and all enemies and threats that seek to destroy us? Those who seek to become a part of God’s flock must come into the family by the only way, Jesus Christ. By faith in him as our Mediator between God and man. We also have precious promises given to us who observe His directions. He promises us security and life; and all we need for an abundant life in Christ.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12 (ESV)
If we could travel through time and found ourselves in the past, the time of Genesis 1:1, we would not be able to see anything at all. The earth was formless with nothing but deep darkness covering it. It was the Son of God, Creator of all things* who created light by speaking it into existence and separated the light from the darkness. If we understand this we’ll recognize that Jesus Christ, who spoke the promises in this verse for today, is the one and same Son of God who created all including light for the world. Christ is the Light of the world. God is light, and Christ is the visible image of God. One sun enlightens the whole world; so does one Christ, and there needs to be no more. What a dark dungeon would be the world without our sun! So would life be be without Jesus, by whom light came into the world. Those who follow Christ shall not walk in darkness. We shall are not left without THE TRUTHS necessary to keep us from destructive the path and provide directions in the way necessary to keep them from condemning sin.
*(John 1:1-5; Colossians 1:15-17)
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” – John 8:58 (NASB)
Jesus, never shy from provoking the religious establishment does so with this bold statement. He had a purpose and that was to convince all who followed Him that He was who He said He was, the Son of God and God Himself. Jesus kept telling the ‘Jews’ (Jewish religious leaders), that He knew the Father personally and they had an authentic relationship. This was something the Jews did not have and never would. This encounter ended up putting Jesus’ life in peril. Never understanding Jesus they challenged His words. He says to the Jews that their father Abraham had rejoiced and was glad when he saw His day. The Jews challenged how He can be telling the truth. Less than fifty years old how could Abraham have seen Him. Christ’s reply is our verse today. It is a bold statement claiming to be the one named I AM which is the authentic name God claimed for Himself – YHWH in Hebrew. I AM means ‘God Is’ and has always been from forever without beginning without end. Jesus tells them He has been since before Abraham was born. They picked up stones to kill Jesus but he hid Himself from them.
““Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,” – Isaiah 46:8-9 (ESV)
For those who through Jesus Christ are living with the promise that our new life will last for eternity, it is still good to remember from where we have come. Not remember how or what but where we were once before God pulled us out of the miry muck of sin and death and set our feet on solid ground. Remembering God and thinking about what He has done and who He is. His attributes and His characteristics, help us remember to keep our focus on Him in spite of the chaos of our world that invades our peace, disrupts and stirs up our temper, or attacks our disposition. Remembering and standing firm on what we know about God helps us not to let our temper loose on anyone else. Remember, He has promised this: He is God, our God, and the only true and living God. There is none like Him, none that can compare. It is God who promises us in today’s passage “There is none like Me.” Many times we are challenged to think the gods of other’s religion are real but they don’t exist as anything other than entities opposed to our LORD God the Almighty.