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Yeshua Explored

I am …

todayJune 19, 2017 18

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In the Gospel of John, there is the matter of Jesus’ seven proclamations.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9)

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”. (John 10:11)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;” (John 11:25)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” (John 15:1)

No prizes for the common factor here. It is Jesus introducing himself with the words, “I am …”

These two words alone were enough to declare his identity. To any listening Jew it was like he was shouting from the rooftops, “it is me, the Son of God”. To understand this we need to return to the time of Moses, to his encounter with the burning bush in Exodus 3:13-14:

“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?” 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.’ ”

You’ve heard the expression about someone who is far too big for his boots, “there goes the great I AM”. Well, this is where it comes from. Like many of our popular expressions, it comes from the Bible. In this case, it is a solemn and awesome episode, the first time God really identifies Himself by name to His people.

The Hebrew word used here is Ehyeh, translated as “I am”, but more correctly translated as “I will be”. It is the root of the divine name YHWH used throughout the Old Testament, incorrectly transliterated as Jehovah.

So Jesus identified with God in the most overt and provocative way he could. He was truly the great I AM.


The Son of Man

Son of God

He said as much to a Jewish gathering:

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58)

And they tried to stone him for blasphemy.

He said as much to the Chief Priest at his trial:

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62)

And the Chief Priest tore his clothes and declared him a blasphemer, worthy of death.



How did Jesus really wind people up?  

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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