God's Names

The I Am's of God - Did Jesus Claim to be God?

Read Exodus 3:1-15.

Some people say that Jesus never claimed to be God. But is that true? Of course we can look at passages such as John 1:1-14 to prove Jesus is God, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God . . . and the Word became flesh and lived among us." Yet, one could still argue, "Yes, but Jesus didn't actually say he was God in those verses." So are there verses where Jesus actually claimed to be God? Yes! To find them, we must begin looking in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament. 

God's covenant name is "I Am Who I Am." It is written as Yahweh, "YHWH," in the Hebrew language, and Jehovah or LORD (all caps) in English. God told Moses to call him, "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 by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation" (Exodus 3:14-15 NIV). 

Today, when we read the I AM statements of Jesus we understand them differently than the people of his day.  For example, when Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd," or "I am the true vine," or "I am the bread of life," you may wonder, how are those statements different than someone saying, "I am a teacher," or "I am a mother," or "I am a father"? 

In the Greek language of the New Testament it is more clearly stated. When Jesus referred to himself as “I am . . .” he used the term, "Ego eimi," which is the equivalent to the “I AM” passages found in Exodus 3. When Jesus said, "Before Abraham was I am" (John 8:58), he identified himself as the covenant keeping God of Israel, which is why the leadership wanted to stone him to death! (John 8:58; 10:30, 33; see also Mark 14:62.) All of the I Am statements of Jesus show that he did in fact claim to be God and are important to understand.

In our Bible lessons for children, His Name Shall Be Called. . .  the following I AM passages of Scripture are discussed:

"Before Abraham was I am" (John 8:58).
"I am the bread of life" (John 6:35,48,51). 
"I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). 
"I am the gate/door of the sheep" (John 10:7,9). 
"I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11,14). 
"I am the resurrection, and the life" (John 11:25). 
"I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). 
"I am the true vine" (John 15:1,5).
"I am the Alpha and the Omega" (Revelation 22:13).

Bible Lessons

Also, don't miss our I AMs of God BIBLE BINGO game.

Copyright 2003 / 2021 S.A. Keith

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