Lots of confusion abounds in the religious world today – especially between Christianity, Islam and Judaism. All 3 of these world religions bear many, many similarities and connections from the creation through the time of Abraham. Many years later, Moses inquired who was speaking to him in the burning bush in the wilderness – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Later, he told Moses to go to Pharaoh in Egypt as Israel was enslaved, and tell him the “I AM” says, to “let my people go.”
Enter Jesus; 1500 years later. Jesus of Nazareth did many good deeds, but was far more than a carpenter’s son, or a magician, or a philosopher as history might paint him. In the gospel of John, there are 8-10 “I AM” statements of Jesus. The reason the number is variable depends upon interpretation. There are in fact only 8 specific metaphorical “ego eimi” (= I AM) statements; the others are things such as “I am the son of God” to his disciples or as part of another sentence. Those statements that are very familiar to his disciples are these; I am the living bread, I am from above, I am the light of the world, I am the door, I am the good shepherd, I am the resurrection and the life, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and I am the vine. It’s interesting that Jesus makes these statements the way he does. There have been many attempts to explain them, but in each context, Jesus is making a point about the object based on the immediate situation; be it bread in the context of feasts, light in the festival of lights (modern Hannukkah), or the means of entering pasture – the door.
But the most powerful statement of Jesus in the context of the I AM statements is in John 8:24. “for if you do not believe that I am, you will die in your sins.” Some translations inject “he” after the I am in that sentence, implying Jesus is referring to himself as the Messiah; however, there’s a problem with that simple little pronoun! The issue is that the Greek New Testament does not include the pronoun “he”. The passage should correctly be read “for if you do not believe that I am…”
These statements are often referred to as they are in the Greek text; ego eimi (eggo ay-mee); simply stated? “I AM”. Jesus knew what he was doing, and who he was. What remains is what will history do with him? Will we reduce him to a meager human who was wise, did miracles (or healings), and philosopher? He is so much more than just a prophet. He is the bright and morning star; Messiah! Ultimately, that is the only question. What will we do with Jesus? The only appropriate response to that question, is to respond as he wanted all his disciples to respond… “Yes you are” (the Messiah, the I AM).