In John’s account of the
Gospel, unlike the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), the apostle
presents 7 formal and direct “I AM” statements of Jesus, each containing
the words “I am” and a predicate: I AM the bread of life (6:35), I AM
the light of the world (8:12), I AM the gate (10:7,9), I AM the
good shepherd (10:11,14), I AM the resurrection and the life (11:25), I
AM the way and the truth and the life (14:6), and I AM the true vine
(15:1,5). Another “I AM” statement is implied in John 4:10-14, “I AM
living water. Each statement is
meant to reveal Jesus’ Divine purpose, power and identity to his audience,
which is the purpose of the Gospel according to John.
The words “I AM” echoes loud and clear God’s profound response to Moses’ question 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.’”
John intentionally used the sacred divine formula for the name of God, “I AM,” because he wanted his Jewish audience, who were remarkably familiar with the prophet Moses and the Torah, to make a connection between Jesus and God. Hence why he wrote in John 1:1-14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was with God in the beginning.Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The very opening statement of John’s
account made clear the purpose of his writing: to reveal the Divine nature of
Jesus’ identity. Throughout his Christological discourse, John presented
about 7 miracles of Jesus and each one of them was meant to create an occasion
or opportunity to communicate the self-revelation of God. Not only His
miracles, but John also wanted his audience to see how Jesus’ teachings were a
precursor to His Messianic revelation. For example, Jesus healed a blind
person in John 9 and said to His audience, “I AM the light of the world.
Jesus resurrected Lazarus in John 11, and said to His audience, “I AM the
resurrection and the life.” Jesus encountered a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well
in a village in Samaria, asked her for some water and then said to her, “I
AM Living water.” Jesus was walking on the sea of Galilee when the
apostles who were on a boat saw Him and got scared, He said unto them, “Do not
be afraid; I AM.” Only the Great I AM can walk on the waves of
the sea (Job 9:8).
Jesus wanted and still wants everyone to know who He is and how powerful He is so that we may believe in Him and have eternal life. When the Samaritan woman left Jesus, she went into her village and told everyone about Jesus. The Bible says many more Samaritans sought after Jesus because of her testimony (John 4: 41-42) and eventually believed that Jesus is the savior of the world. Is Jesus the savior of your life? Because He wants you to know today: “I AM the savior of the world.” Jesus is the one we all need in life – the one who can help us in our time of needs – the only one who can save us from this wretched world. Jesus is THE GREAT I AM.
I love you all