The “I AM” Claims of Jesus, Introduction and Outline, Exodus 3 et al.

Series: The “I AM” Claims of Jesus, Introduction and Outline, Exodus 3 et al.

This series is based on the gospel claims of Jesus to be the Good Shepherd, the Bread of life, the Resurrection and the Life, and others. But, the first time Jesus, the Son of God, identifies Himself as the “I AM” may not be in the gospels. It may be in the Old Testament where God speaks to Moses at the bush that burned and was not consumed in Exodus 3:13-15,  Moses said to 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?’ Then what shall 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.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’“This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. Remember now that Jesus says to the leaders of the Jews in John 8, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Moses came long after Abraham, and as Jesus knew Abraham, He also knew Moses. They were both friends of Jesus.

In fact, they are talking as friends in the transfiguration of Jesus recorded in 3 places in the gospels, one of them in Luke 9:28-36, About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.  As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.  Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.  Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen. Eastern Orthodox Christians have long held that Moses spoke with the Logos, the Word, the pre-incarnate Son of God at the Bush. I believe  that whenever God is seen in the Old Testament, it is the pre-incarnate Christ. Moses, in the Old Testament, was seeing the Word before He was made flesh or became flesh.

Further, in Exodus 6:2-3, we read, "God spoke further to Moses and said to him, ‘I am the LORD; and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD (Yahweh) I did not make myself known to them.’" And then in Exodus 24:9-11, "Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.  Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they beheld God, and they ate and drank.” The Bible tells us that God was seen, yet we have in John 1:18, "No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." In the gospel of John, four verses earlier in verse 14, it said that the Word (which was God according to, John 1:1) became flesh and dwelt among us. From then on, whenever John the apostle refers to "God" he is referring to the father -- because the Word had become incarnate in the man Jesus.

One cannot complete this survey without looking at Revelation 21. Here Jesus, the Lamb, is identified as almighty God, and all the adjectives used to describe the God of Israel are applied to Him. They leave no question that Jesus is Yahweh. We read in Revelation 21:1-8, Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

OUTLINE


1 The Most Capacious Claim, Text: John 8: 24 & 58

2 The Most Comprehensive Claim, Text:  John 14:6

3 The Most Consoling Claim, Text: John 11:25

4 The Most Comforting Claim, Text: John 10:9 and 11

5  The Most Challenging Claim, Text: John 8:12

6 The Most Consummating Claim, Text: John 15:1

7 The Most Charging Claim, Text: John 6:51

8 he Most Consequential Claim, Text: Acts 9:5.