You Said I Am

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Exodus 3:13-15 “Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM.”


In Exodus 3, Moses encounters the one true God and asks an incredible question of God Almighty. Put simply, “Who are you God?”


God doesn’t answer with a name. In fact, he doesn’t respond to Moses question initially. 


John Piper tells us that “God is not saying his name is I Am. He said in effect: Before you worry about my name, where I line up among the many gods of Egypt or Babylon or Philistia, and before you wonder about conjuring me with my name, and even before you wonder if I Am the God of Abraham, be stunned by this: ‘I Am Who I am.’ I absolutely am. Before you get my name, get my being.  That I Am Who I Am — that I absolutely am — is first, foundational and of infinite importance.”


God is without beginning and end. He is independent and never changing. He is constant and as Piper goes on to say “ the absolute standard of truth and goodness and beauty.”


Centuries later, Jesus uses the same name, I Am. He was fully man and yet fully God and this was a scandalous claim to be the eternal God, the Holy one in the flesh. In John 8, saying as much nearly got him stoned on the spot. Jesus was making it clear to anyone who would hear him that he was truly the son of God.


Seven times, John’s gospel gives us insight to Jesus using a metaphor to explain who he truly is. Let’s examine each briefly and then ask the question, “do I believe?”


I AM the Bread of Life, John 6:22-59 
John 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

Jesus speaks to the daily human need and desire for food. But here, he speaks of a spiritual hunger that can only be satisfied in Him. In Christ there is no hunger or thirst for eternity. 

I AM the Light of the World, John 8:12-30 
John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

In verse 2 of John 8, the sun is rising “at dawn”. Hearing the words of Jesus would have most certainly drawn the comparison in the minds of those listening to the sun that rises over the city and Jesus, the light of world. Jesus is bearing witness to himself in the same way light bears witness to the sun. Those who walk in the light, those who are in Christ, have eyes opened to experience the Light of the world. 

I AM the Door, John 10:1–10 
John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”

The sheepfold is where sheep typically slept and was attached to the home of the shepherd. This imagery in Jesus’ day would have been clear to most as shepherds were so common. The metaphor here is powerful as Jesus describes himself as the only way to truly come home to the Father. Just as sheep come “in and out and find pasture” as the scripture describes, so we enter true home and communion with God when we enter though Christ as the only door of passage. Jesus is opening the door and inviting us home!

I AM the Good Shepherd, John 10:11–18 
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

As mentioned, the idea of a shepherd in Jesus day was accompanied with immediate and profund implications culturally. For the people of God, the shepherd was a central figure in society and shepherd was a leader, a friend, a watchman and inherently one who looked out for their good. Jesus is the greater shepherd for the people of God and will lead, protect, love and ultimately lay down his own life for the sheep. 

I AM the Resurrection and the Life, John 11:17–44 
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”

Jesus spoke these words shortly after raising his friend Lazarus from the grave. Many who would have heard these words from Christ would have known of that miracle taking place. Jesus is embodying the idea of resurrection in declaring that he alone is the return to life. He not only offers resurrection and has the power to deliver it but ultimately is resurrection for all who believe. 

I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life, John 14:1–14 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

There was so much speculation and confusion about who Jesus was (and is) from everyone — Pharisees, religious leaders, disciples and even in his own family. More than any other “I Am” statement, Jesus summarizes the totality of his nature and character. He is not an option but the only way. He is not a version of truth, He is the truth. And he is the only source of life. No one who attempts to approach the Father in any other way will be saved. Jesus and Jesus only. This I Am statement is emphatic about the magnitude of Christ as God.

 I AM the True Vine, John 15:1–11 
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” 

Jesus elaborates on this and seems to relish in the symbolism of gardening and of working in the vineyard. The Holy Land is filled with thousands of acres of vineyards dotted with trees and vines. Grapes were essential in winemaking of course but also supported the diet of Jesus’ day in a substantial way. The importance of a vineyard in the culture is meant to highlight the centrality of Christ to his people — a true source of life and sustenance. We must be connected to a true, healthy thriving vine in order to be branches that bear fruit. Without him, we are dead in our sin and can produce nothing. 


So the question is simple for all who will read these statements and ultimately sing this song —

Do you believe that Jesus is I AM?


John 20:31 “these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”


Jesus declares who he truly is so that we would believe and be brought to life. 

I pray as you sing this song, the reality of Christ, the Son of God, is fully realized in your heart and mind.