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I Am Statements Essay

4776 words - 20 pages

Jesus makes some important claims about Himself and some of the most important claims that Jesus made can be found in the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John is the only gospel that records the “I Am” statements of Jesus.[1] These are important statements by Jesus and provide some of the most significant insight into what Jesus’ ministry was all about and why He was sent here on earth. These statements gave special insight as to who Christ claimed to be.[2] These statements were of such importance and could be understood by the Jews that many times it led the Jewish leaders to be outraged and want to either arrest Him for blasphemy or even stone Him for blasphemy. These were significant ...view middle of the document...

[4] God answers Moses by revealing Himself in Exodus 3:14 as “I Am that I Am.” God also tells Moses to tell the people that “I Am” sent Moses to them.[5]
It was important that God revealed Himself as “I Am” to the Israelites because this was a very hard time for them in which they would be very scrupulous and hard-hearted to listen to anyone when they said they had come from God.[6] God had already proven Himself to their fathers in many different places and times when He took care of them and showed Himself to be sovereign through those situations.[7] However, this was a new situation for the Israelites. They were in bondage to Egypt which was a world power at the time. The fathers of the Israelites were peers of their neighbors and enemies but rather the Israelites were in slavery and are simply oppressed by their peers. The Israelites had to face a people that so enriched their culture with the extensive pantheon of gods that covered every aspect of life and gave international influence to Egyptian power. Even the Pharaoh that Moses would have to confront believed and claimed to divine descent. It was against this backdrop that the Israelites found it hard to accept that the God of their fathers could do anything to help them out. They had seen that God had done nothing and they continued to be savagely oppressed for many years which caused a lot of doubt that God could do anything.[8]
Therefore, God had to reveal Himself to Moses and the Israelites as “I Am that I Am.” The Israelites needed to know that they could depend on God and trust and believe that God will be sovereign in this situation. When God responds to Moses’ question, He does not give him a name but gives him an assertion of authority that is solely God’s. When God says, “I Am that I Am,” the verbs are first person common qal imperfects of the verb “to be.” This connotes the continuing, unfinished action of God and shows that He is “the One Who Always Is.”[9] The intent of this reply is to show an active being and shows that He is self-existent.[10] This reply shows that He has His being in Himself and there is no dependence upon any other. Also, because He is self-existent shows that He is self-sufficient which makes Him the inexhaustible fountain of being and bliss. This reply also shows that God is eternal and unchangeable. It also shows that He cannot be found out by searching for Him. Lastly, this reply shows that He is faithful and true to every single promise of His. He is unchangeable to His word and also His nature.[11]
God was also using this name and working out this plan in order to reestablish the covenant He had made with their fathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The covenant had been decayed and even almost lost because of their oppression. He had to prepare them for their deliverance and also raise their expectations and hope in Him. He had to give them a hope that they could trust in His promises He had made with their fathers. When God replied to Moses...

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