The gospel of John records seven statements that Jesus states, which are readily known as the “I am…” statements. There is an eighth claim that was also made by Jesus about Himself; when He simply states, “I am.” Theologian Elmer Towns states in his textbook, (Elmer Towns) “This is a statement of identification with Old Testament deity. Christ is implying, “I am…I am,” the self-existent One. He is claiming to be their God.
The Old Testament is pointing to the coming One. Many scriptures tell that someone is coming. Who is coming? Could it be the Messiah? The people of John’s time were looking, searching, hoping for the One to come. Ray Stedman states in his commentary (Ray Stedman) “In ...view middle of the document...
Jesus’2 answer to the woman is firm and without explanation in John 4:26, “Jesus said to her, I Who now speak with you am He.” The Deity of Christ is quickly confirmed when in John 4:28 we read, “ Then the woman left her water jar, and went away to the town. And she began telling the people, Come; see a Man Who has told me everything that I ever did! Can this be [is not this] the Christ? [Must not this be the Messiah, the Anointed One?]”
The second claim to the self-existence “I am…I am” statement of Jesus is found in John 8:24, 28, 58. Jesus is being questioned by the Pharisees; once again. This time they were frustrated by the fact that Jesus is making claims that He is from above and they are from this world. Jesus was also making prediction of His upcoming departure or resurrection. The Pharisees thought He was speaking of killing Himself. Jesus utterly frustrated the Pharisees with His simplicity.
The Pharisees wanted to trust and enforce the law, not Jesus or His claims of truth. Jesus’ statement in John 8:24, 28, 58 reads, “ That is why I told you that you will die in (under the curse of) your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He [Whom I claim to be-if you do not adhere to, trust in, and rely on Me], you will die in your sins…. 28So Jesus added, When you have lifted up the Son of Man [on the cross], you will realize (know, understand) that I am He [for Whom you look] and that I do nothing of Myself (of My own accord or on My own authority), but I say [exactly] what My Father has taught Me. 58Jesus replied, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I AM.
Scotchmen suggests in the textbook (Towns) “The identification of our Lord Jesus Christ with the Lord of the Old Testament results in an explicit doctrine of His Deity.” This Old Testament claim of final Judge is found in Joel 3:12, as it reads, “Let the nations bestir themselves and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about.”< /i>
The Pharisees are challenged not only by His comment to believe, but also that He will Judge them of their sins. This challenge was further agitated by the Old Testament scripture in Exodus 3:14 which they were very familiar because of the Patriarch Moses. Exodus 3:14 reads, “And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you!”
Jesus was claiming to be the ONE that Moses spoke to, the Great “I AM.” To add insult to injury Jesus is also making reference to 1 Samuel 2:6 in the Old Testament with His statement. This scripture 1 Samuel 2:6 states, “The Lord slays and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up.” It is this Old Testament reference that makes it clear Jesus was not speaking of killing himself. The Pharisees have been confronted, now each must decide. Death was their choice, which unknowingly became our reward and the...