The Great I Am

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

I don’t know about you, but I have always been intrigued about how God introduced Himself to Moses. When God called Moses to go back to Egypt to bring the people out of that land, Moses balked. The first thing he asked was who are you or what kind of god are you. he knew the people would be asking. God answered with a simple, “I AM WHO I AM.” For years, every time I read that, I’m like, “what kind of an answer is that!!” It turns out, it’s a great answer. When God introduced Himself, he used a word that simply means, “to be.” To the orthodox Jew, it is the secret, unspeakable name for GOD and they use the four letters, YHWH. in our modern Bibles we get the word Jehovah or some translations use the word LORD in all capital letters for this name. In any event, the name proclaims YHWH as self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal and sovereign. I kind of doubt if Moses had anything to add to that.

I seems like I read in one of the e-bulletins we received recently that Pastor Brandon is going to be starting a series on the “I Am” statements of Jesus. If so, If I have this right, I’m excited because the more I learn about them,  the more I understand that they point to the deity of Jesus. Seven times in the book of John, Jesus used a completed “I AM” statement to talk about Himself. In doing so, he basically said, I am God in the flesh. No wonder the Pharisees got so angry and looked for opportunities to kill him. After all, this was heresy. Let’s look at a couple of these.

The first first “I AM” statement is found in John 6:35: “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” Jesus was saying that by coming to Him, a person would have all his spiritual hunger and thirst totally quenched. By using I AM He was claiming that he was equal with YHWH or Jehovah, God Himself.

Another time, Jesus said “I am the the good shepherd.” (John 10:11 & 14). Again, He compared Himself to YHWH. The ordinary shepherd usually didn’t lay down his life for his sheep. Jesus, as we all know would later lay down His life for His flock. A hired person would have none of that. In verse 14, Jesus again called himself the good shepherd. But this time he talks about the relationship He has with his sheep. He knows His sheep and they know Him. Jesus had an intimate relationship with His sheep.

So, how does all this apply to our lives. I’d like to close this with a couple of thoughts. First, Jesus had no qualms in talking about His deity. He told the people often, I and the Father are one. Or said in today’s language, I am God. But so many of the people had their hearts closed to this. We need to take this knowledge and put it into our hearts, not just our heads. We need to realize who we worship. We worship the one true God who is totally separated from us, but who also reaches down to sinful people like me and you! What a Savior we have!

Not only that, But God wants to have a close and intimate relationship with us. My question to myself is, “do I want to have an intimate relationship with Him?” Our God is not small, yet we often treat Him as if He is. May God enlarge our hearts to realize that we love and serve the Holy and sovereign God of the universe, but one who, by His own sovereign choice, reaches down to sinful people like us and draws us into a close relationship with Him. May we fall humbly before him in worship and praise and not harden our hearts. May God bless and encourage your heart today!

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