In addition to these “I Am” statements, Jesus also refers to Himself as “I Am” another seven times throughout this Gospel. First while speaking to the Samaritan women at the well, as He was engaging with her in conversation, drawing her to the conclusion that He was the Messiah they had been waiting for, much to her great joy, Jesus tells her, “I am He, the One speaking to you.” (Jn 4:26 NASB)
Then to His disciples as they see Him walking on water, Jesus calms their fears by saying, “I am He; do not fear.” (Jn 6:20 BLB)
The next three times was directed to the Pharisees as they were questioning His authority. First Jesus says, “That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I Am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.” (Jn 8:24 NLT) A little later Jesus adds, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I Am he.…” (Jn 8:28 NLT) Lastly, Jesus enrages them by saying, “Very truly I tell you…before Abraham was born, I am!” (Jn 8:58 NIV)
Another instance is after washing the feet of His disciples, Jesus is speaking to them about His death and says, “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.” (Jn 13:19 NIV)
The last one is probably my favorite because it clearly displays the power in this wonderful Name. It occurs as the guards from the religious leaders go to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus. Jesus asks them who they are seeking, to which they say “Jesus of Nazareth.” And Jesus simply replies, “I am he,” and “When Jesus said, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” (Jn 18:5-6 NIV) I am sure they didn’t even know what was happening, yet at the mention of His Name, “…every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” (Php 2:10) Here we see this literally…one day we will experience it too. Either people will bow out of humility, having surrender to Jesus as Lord and Savior acknowledging the Majesty of our King. OR people will bow out of humiliation, after being defeated by Jesus and cast away from Him…either way every knee will bow to this King of kings!
All of these people were looking for a human, what they encounter is God in the Flesh. As we engage with God’s Word, and study all of Scripture, may we also encounter Jesus as we worship and live by His Holy and Beautiful Name, the Great I Am.
2023’s Got A Minute? Book Club
January: The Bible
<>< Peace, Diane