The Great I AM

“[Jesus] said… “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you, therefore, that you would die in your sins, for if you do not believe that I AM you will die in your sins” (John 8:23–24).

While many people claim that all religions are basically the same – various ways of aiming at purpose and morality – Christianity sets itself apart in no uncertain terms. Jesus makes the claim of deity; He demands that His hearers admit He is God.

Jesus clearly and emphatically claimed to be God in many ways, but one of the most dramatic ways He does it is through His “I AM” statements in the Gospel of John (example: Jn. 8:24, 58).

God revealed His name and essential divine character to Moses at a burning bush. God said, “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex. 3:14). This profound and mysterious passage is understood as a high point of God’s self-revelation, and Jesus claims the very same language for Himself. Jesus says He is “I AM” (Jn. 8:58), and He even makes clear the fundamental necessity of believing His claim (Jn. 8:24).

Whatever one may say of Jesus, one cannot say anything good of Him unless it is admitted that Jesus is, in fact, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the famous words of C.S. Lewis, Jesus is a liar, a lunatic, or He is Lord (i.e. God Almighty).

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