And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’” – Exodus 3:14-15
Have you ever heard someone say that Jesus never claimed to be God? Or, at best he was just a good man but not divine? Well, perhaps these statements by Jesus himself will help us understand and be assured of the deity of our Lord. But first, a little background on the personal name, “I AM”, for God from the Scripture above.
As Moses was tending a flock of sheep on the backside of the desert an angel of the LORD appeared to him from a burning bush and called out his name. Then the voice from the bush identified Himself, “I am the God of your Father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). As the LORD continued He revealed his personal name for the very first time, I AM WHO I AM and he told Moses, “say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14).
“I AM” in Hebrew is the word ehyeh. Now that doesn’t help us much until we look at how ehyeh was interpreted in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint (LXX), which was completed in the middle of the third century B.C. Ehyeh translated into Greek is “ego eimi” meaning, “I AM.” Now why is that important? Because Greek is the language of the New Testament and in the following seven statements by Jesus from the gospel of John (there are three more in the book of Revelation, 1:17, 22:13, 22:16), He uses those same two words, “ego eimi” to announce His deity together with attributes that no one else could ever fulfill except God Himself. Just as God had revealed Himself to Moses with a resounding, “I AM” Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples as the “I AM” and being Jews they knew what He meant. Here they are:
“I AM the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst” (John 6:35). Jesus spoke these words following the miracle of His feeding 5000 men and their families from five barley loaves and two fish offered by a young boy (John 6:1-15). Later in His discourse, Jesus is even more emphatic as to His deity, “I have come down from heaven to do the will of God (John 6:38).
“I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). At the annual Feast of Tabernacles held in Jerusalem, in which Jesus was in attendance, it was traditional on the last day of the feast to fill sixteen golden bowls with oil and light them in the inner courts of the Temple on Mt. Zion so that their flames could be seen for miles around. It was here that Jesus declared Himself as the spiritual light of the world.
“I AM the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). A good shepherd would build a sheepfold for the flock in his care to provide shelter and protection at night. It was always guarded at its entrance or gate by the shepherd himself. Physically and spiritually Jesus promises safety to his followers.
“I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Unlike hirelings who might run away and leave the flock unprotected when danger was present, Jesus is committed to caring for and keep watch over us.
“I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). Jesus is the Lord of all life and possesses the power to raise the dead. Death is not the final word, for all who are in Christ will live forever.
“I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the one and only way to the Father. He is the source of all truth and the source of all knowledge about God. He offers to spiritually dead people the very life of God.
“I AM the vine you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). By attaching ourselves to Christ, we enable His life to flow in and through us. Then we cannot help but bear fruit that will honor the Father.
The deity of Jesus Christ separates Christianity from every other religion on the face of the earth. God, in the person of Jesus Christ came in the flesh, to redeem His people and forgive their sins (Titus 2:11-14). Thank you, Lord Jesus. Maranatha!