Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory means nothing. The One who glorifies Me is My Father, of whom you say ‘He is our God.’ You do not know Him, but I know Him. If I said I did not know Him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know Him, and I keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see My day. He saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?” “Truly, truly, I tell you,” Jesus declared, “before Abraham was born, I am!- John 8:54-58 BSB
Many Biblical skeptics and chosen atheists and agnostics argue that Jesus never claimed to be God. As like so many other arguments, they start with a lie. That is NOT true. I have heard the argument that Jesus was made God hundreds of years later by a church council in ways that are not supported in Scripture or history. However, if you just READ THE BIBLE, you will find the truth in a different light. In today’s verse if you follow the situation to its conclusion, the following verse, 59 says, “At this, they picked up stones to throw at Him.” Why? Because they knew He blasphemed, for they knew He was claiming to be God. And He was, but He did not blaspheme, because He is God. The religious leaders knew what Jesus was saying and if you study the Bible you will too! Jesus made a clear reference to Exodus 3:14, where God revealed His name to Moses as “I AM.” The reason the religious leaders wanted to kill Him was because Jesus claimed to be God. In Exodus 3, Moses comes upon a bush that is aflame but is not being consumed by the fire. He repents, turns to the bush and He is introduced to the God of the Universe. God tells Moses that He has heard the cries of His people in bondage and that God is going to use Moses to free His people from the chains of Pharaoh and the bonds of Egypt. Then Moses asked God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ What should I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)
Leader, Jesus is our EVERYTHING. He is our Portion, He is our Purpose, HE IS OUR PROVISION. “LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure” (Psalm 16:5). King David, a man after GOD’S OWN HEART knew that God was everything. There are many passages in scripture that refer to God as “my portion” (Lamentations 3:24, Psalm 73:26, Psalm 142:5). Some translations render the Hebrew word for “portion” as “inheritance” in Psalm 16:5. The NASB also links the word portion to inheritance: “The LORD is the portion of my inheritance.” The “inheritance” is a reference to the allotment of land given to Israel when they entered the Promised Land (Numbers 26:52–56; Joshua 14:1–5). Jesus is ALL WE NEED, He is everything, this is where the I AM name comes from! God is everything we need HE IS…! In John’s Gospel, Jesus makes seven references to Himself using “I AM”, you should look those up and know them. A true follower of Jesus will know Jesus as THE: ONE who satisfies (bread of life), ONE who gives life (light), ONE who offers salvation (gate), ONE who died for us (good shepherd), the resurrection and the life, the way, truth, and life, and the true (real, legitimate) vine. When Jesus said I AM, He was telling us that HE ALONE fulfills the prophecies of the Old Testament regarding the Messiah, predicted His resurrection, and presents Himself as the only way of salvation. The key question for us all today is, WHAT IS JESUS TO ME? Is he a ticket to prosperity? Is He a social connection? Is Jesus another way, or another asset to a ‘Good Life’? We must decide WHAT\WHO is Jesus to me?
Conduit, Christian artist Zach Williams wrote a hit song about the GREAT I AM. It is called ‘Chain Breaker’. In the song Zach tells us that to him, Jesus has 4 other I AM’s! He says, “If you’ve got pain, He is a pain taker”. It is written; “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”. (Isaiah 53:4) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) “If you feel lost, He’s a way maker”. It is written; “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19) “If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking Savior.” It is written; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” (Luke 4:18) Peter and Paul both know this role of Jesus from personal experience. “If you got chains, He’s a chain breaker”. It is written: He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains. Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away.” (Psalm 107:14, Nahum 1:13) Jesus is working for a relationship with each of us, waiting for the DESIRES of our HEARTS for HIM to be our I AM! Jesus is waiting for us to call out to him, so He can BE, and SAY- “HERE I AM”! Revelation 3:20 confirms this, IT IS WRITTEN, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me”. Open the door to your heart and mind and be WILLING to let Jesus be your GREAT, I AM!