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March | March 20, 2018
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
As I’ve encouraged you to read through the Gospel of John, one chapter per day, we’ve been studying the various names by which Jesus is identified in this book. Thus far we’ve looked at these names or titles: Jesus, Christ - that is, Messiah, Son of God, the Word, the Lamb of God, Rabbi or teacher, bridegroom, Son of Man and Savior. Now let’s look at some titles built on the declaration, “I am.”
That’s right, Jesus claimed to be the “I am.” Jesus answered His critics, in John 8:58-59 “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am. At this, they picked up stones to stone him.” Why did they react this way? Consider the origins of the name, “I Am.” Jehovah, is a form of the Hebrew verb “to be.” When Moses asked who he should say called him to deliver Israel, God said, “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). Some would translate this, “I am, I am being.” God is always all that we need. He is what Manford Gutzke calls, “our Eternal Contemporary.”
The name “I AM” points to God’s uniqueness. He is infinite, eternal, unconditioned; that is, the only eternal existence in the universe. Everything else has a derived existence. He alone is un-derived, self-existent and complete in Himself.
Jesus identified Himself as Jehovah God. Those listening to Him saw this as blasphemy. They were outraged. But as verse 59 points out, as they picked up stones to stone Him, “Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” In essence He was able to do what He wanted to do, and no one could stop Him.