Listen:  125.1

Let’s look at a couple of times that the Lord Jesus said that about Himself.  In John 8:56-59we read, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” 

The Lord Jesus boldly stated that Abraham rejoiced to see His day, the day of the coming of the Messiah.  Abraham, by faith, did see that day and was glad.  This saying confused the Jews.  They had no ability to understand divine truths.  These Jews tried to reason that Jesus could not have been more than fifty years old.  How could He have seen Abraham, who had been dead for centuries?  They replied as if the Lord had said that He had seen Abraham, when He had, in fact, said that Abraham had seen Him.  The Lord Jesus attributed to Himself a greater position that Abraham.   The intent of the Lord’s words was to show that he was indeed greater than Abraham, as he had been previously questioned about in John 8:53where they asked the Lord, “Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead?” 

The Lord’s next words proved to be inflammatory to these Jewish unbelievers.  He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.”  After hearing those words, the Jews took up stones to kill the Lord.  What was so incredible about the words of the Lord that made them want to kill Him?  Let’s look carefully at what the Lord said.  Notice that the Lord did not say, “Before Abraham was, I was.”  No, He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.”  “Before Abraham was” shows that Abraham was, at one point, brought into existence.  The words, “I am” show that the Lord Jesus always existed.  We get that same precious truth brought out in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  Was Jesus claiming to be God?  He absolutely was!

Let’s consider this conversation between the Lord and Moses.  The Lord was instructing Moses that he would be His representative before His people and before Pharaoh.  We read in Exodus 3:13-14, “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”  The word, ‘God’ in this portion, is the Hebrew word, “Elohihym”.  It is the same Hebrew word that is used in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”  God is telling Moses that His name is ‘I AM.’  The Lord Jesus says that His name is ‘I AM’ in John 8:58.  Jesus is stating emphatically that He is God.

Let’s read of the Lord’s betrayal and capture as He left the Garden of Gethsemane in John 18:4-6, “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.”  I want you to notice that when Jesus responded with the words, “I am he”, that the word ‘he’ is in italics in the KJV.  This means that the translators added this word to the portion.  It was not in the original manuscripts.  In reality, when told that they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth, the Lord again boldly stated, “I AM”.  Upon hearing His name, the guards stumbled backwards and fell down.  This is a foreshadow of what will happen when the whole world finally sees the Lord.  Of that day, we read in Romans 14:11, “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”  Have you already bowed your knee to the Lord and owned Him as your Lord and savior?  If not, you will bow before Him one day as your judge.  (125.1)