I Am

John 8:58, Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

This statement Jesus made was extremely significant to the Jews (and still is today). God told Moses to go to the Hebrew slaves and he asked 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 replied, “I AM WHO I AM… Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you'” (Exodus 3:13-14). So by Jesus saying, “Before Abraham was, I am,” He was claiming to be God! This was blasphemy to the unbelieving Jews, but these words have eternal significance.

Thinking of the grammar of Jesus’ statement, it makes no sense. Shouldn’t He have said, “Before Abraham was, I was”? That makes more sense grammatically, right? Yes, but it would miss the point of Jesus’ reality. He didn’t simply exist before Abraham existed. When God said, “I AM,” He was making the statement that He was, is, and always will be. Likewise, when Jesus says, “I am,” He is also saying He was, is, and always will be because He is also God. This makes no sense to us, but is the point that it’s supposed to make sense to our puny human minds, or is the point the reality of God’s omnipresence and infinitude? We’re finite beings. How could we possibly fathom God’s infinitude? It is impossible for the finite to comprehend the infinite. Because God is, we are. Because Jesus was, is, and will be, so we were born, remain as we are in Christ, and will be forever with Him upon His return.

By saying, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), He was making known that life exists through Him. We are because He is, and we only will be if we partake of His bread. By saying, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), He was making known that He is the light to illuminate our darkness. Only through Him can we truly know peace. By saying, “I am the door” (John 10:9), He was making known that salvation comes only through Him. By saying, “I am the good shepherd,” (John 10:11), He was making known that He is the one who guides, protects, and provides for His sheep—those who follow Him and rely on Him. By saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), He was making known that He is the moral absolute and the only way to eternal life. Lastly, by saying, “I am the true vine” (John 15:1), He was making known that good fruit only comes by abiding in Him. By abiding in Him, He gives all we need because since He was, is, and always will be, He is able to do so.

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