I AM in John

I AM in John

The purpose of this post is to explore the times when Jesus uses “I am” in the Book of John.  I think this adds to John’s purpose of proving that Jesus is the Messiah.  There are some loose groupings of how/when Jesus used the term.  I will not try and list all of the verses but will leave that up to you and a concordance or a Bible app like BibleGateway. 

We use the phrase “I am” in our speech with other people frequently.  In Exodus 3:14 the Almighty God choose this phase as the name He wanted Moses and the Israelites to know Him by.  As with many translations, our English thoughts and ancient Hebrew usage can yield slightly different meanings.  (see I AM – Exodus) But think about it the next time you introduce yourself to someone or announce that you are going somewhere.

To non-Jews    Jesus used this phrase when He was talking to the Samaritan Woman and to Pilate.  These were at the beginning and end of His earthly ministry.  Jesus affirmed to the Woman that He was the Messiah and to Pilate that He was a King – John 4:26/18:37.  

What Jesus Said About Himself This is the reason I started thinking about this post.  I know there are other sources that will only list seven of these.  (Seldom am I in perfect harmony with them.)  Remember, this is just from the Gospel of John.  They will be out of order.

  1. 8:58 – before Abraham was born, I am (NIV).  The 8th chapter of John has eleven times when Jesus uses “I am”.  This is the only time that Jesus actually declares He is God.  This was done at the end of a long conversation with the Jews in the Temple.  They were going to stone Him and He “slipped away”.
  2. 4:26 – He told the woman at the well that He was the Messiah.
  3. 18:37 – Pilate He was a King.
  4. 6:35 This was after He fed the 5,000.  He identified as the Bread of Life (manna).
  5. 8:12 In the Temple.  He is the Light of the World.  Jesus says this again in 9:5 as He is healing the man born blind.
  6. 10:7+9 This is with the “man born blind” – Jesus is the Gate for the Sheep.    
  7. 10:11 He is the Good Shepherd.
  8. 10:36 He is God’s Son.
  9. 11: 25 He is the Resurrection and the Life.  This was said as He was raising Lazarus and going to Jerusalem for His final Passover.
  10. 13: 13 Jesus quotes the disciples calling Him Teacher and Lord.  
  11. 15:1+5 He calls Himself the True Vine.  This was in His last meal on Thursday of Holy Week.        
  12. 14: 10,11, and 20 Jesus says He is in the Father.  Even without this one, I am over the seven.

He Is Going Away I count seventeen times Jesus says He is going away.  20:17 is to Mary at the garden tomb.  The other times He says this in private and before a crowd starts in Chapter 7:34 and 8:14+21.  Here He was in the Temple.  The majority of these announcements are during Holy Week and are in chapters 13, 14, 16, and 17.  Jesus told the Disciples but they could not hear these as a prophecy.  He told them plainly in 12:36 that He was to be “lifted up”. 

The Mob 18:5,6, and 8 takes place in the Garden with Judas and the mob.  They are looking for Jesus of Nazareth and He answers with “I am He”.  My post the Root, Branch, Fruit deals with the prophecy you “cannot find” in Matthew 2:23.  The key is the word netzer which means branch and is the root for Nazareth.

Great Commission – John’s Style 20:21 has Jesus telling the Disciples “I am sending you”.  Jesus compares His order to what the Father did with Him.  Jesus has also given them “peace” and then breaths on them so receive the Holy Spirit.  Pentecost and their next step in God was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  During the Counting of the Omer, the Disciples spent time with Jesus before the Ascension and their ten days of intense prayer. 

I AM – Exodus

“I AM” the name that God Almighty chose to reveal to Moses in Exodus 3:14. The name so holy to the Jews that they leave the vowels out of it so that it is not pronounceable – YHWH.  According to the footnote in my NIV, Lord sounds like and may come from the Hebrew for I Am. 

My purpose in studying this passage/phrase is to look at the times Jesus said “I AM” in the Book of John.  I feel it will add to the miracles that John highlights as proof that Jesus is the Son of God.  But this is my background study and I am glad that I started here.  There are several things I saw and want to show you.

First, in Exodus 6:3 God tells Moses He showed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty or El-Shaddai (Genesis 17:1).  That is important when you realize that they had no written Word or anyone to teach them about the true God.  Joseph and his brothers (so their children) only had oral traditions and possibly dreams and visions to guide them.  (It does make you wonder what part Melchizedek played, if any, in their education.)  The “few times” that God interacted with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their wives had to be impressive or they would have wandered away.  (The reason I said a “few times” is the number of recorded “visits” or “revelations” versus the number of years they lived.)    

Names are important in the Bible – some are changed, you can be given a new one (Revelations) and Jesus has one that will not be revealed.  I tend to start with the meaning of names (people and places) in my studies but they can hold a mixed bag of information.  Lo Debar is deceptive if you do not study the town, where it was located, and its main source of income.  The three Ananias’ in the Book of Acts portray a wide range of characteristics and not all of them fit with the name or at least my paradigms.

Second, is the play on words between Moses and God with the phrase “I am”.  I know some of this depends of the translations you read, KJV is slightly different than many others.  KJV has Moses using “am I” twice, once in verse 4 (Here am I) and then again in verse 11 with God using “I AM” seven times (the number of completion) in the same conversation.  Many other translations have Moses in verse 4 saying, “Here I am.”

The third thing that is interesting is the change in the word Lord.  My Second Edition Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance has two different listings under the word lord.  A more common use of the word is first used in Genesis 18:27 while the word rendered Yahweh starts in Genesis 2:4. Then, there are times when the word Adonai and YHWH are together and you see LORD in the NIV. (This is from the preface in my NIV.)  The non-God reference in this concordance is #123 with donay being #151 and Yahweh is #3378 (These are not Strong’s numbers.)

Forth, I suggest using the parallel function on Bible Gateway and see the way different translations handle Exodus 3: 4-15. I paralleled The Names of God Bible, Complete Jewish Bible, Orthodox Jewish Bible, the Revised Standard Version, NIV, and others.  Check the footnotes as “I AM” may have other meanings- “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE” was a common possible version.  Verse 12 in the NIV has God saying, “I will be with you” to Moses.

Please check YouTube for Jonathan Chan videos as he has very good revelation into the I AM mystery. Also, check –   https://www1.biu.ac.il/indexE.php?id=17636&pt=1&pid=14398&level=0&cPath=43,14206,14373,14398,17636   This is Bar-Ilan University, they have several viewpoints on this topic.  I also found https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_that_I_Am   helpful on the Yahweh and ehyeh connection. In Genesis God revealed Himself to Abraham as God Almighty or El-Shaddai.  In Exodus, He added the name of I AM or Yahweh or LORD.  I will be showing how Jesus used “I am” in introducing Himself in the Book of John to show Himself as the Son of God.

Better in the Book of Hebrews

The writer of Hebrews (the Holy Spirit) uses words, phrases, and themes in the book to present Jesus for who He is – the Messiah.  This post will introduce “better” as one of these tools in the construction of this great book.  (I have written on the phrase “let us” in a post several years ago.).  Kreitton is the Greek word that is most often translated to our word “better” in Hebrews (Strong’s 2909).  Polys or a form of it (4183) is the other word that is used.  Diaphoras (1313) is translated to our word “superior”.  The exact number and use of these words depend on the translation you use.  

Kreitton is used in twelve verses and polys is used once.  Twice Kreitton carries the idea of useful and twice it is used as excellent.  I will point these out later as they are discussed.  

For this post, I will loosely divide the times the words are used into two sections.  The first section begins with 1:4 (superior/excellent, one of the variations) and goes to 10:34.  I see the focus here as the work of Jesus and His ministry.  Between 1:4 and 6:9 are the “elementary teaching” about Jesus that we need to “drink in” to produce a “useful crop”.  From 7:7 to 10:34 we get a taste of the “solid food” of Melchizedek, the high priest, and the covenants and sacrifices that Jesus fulfilled and took the place of.

  1. Hebrews 1:4
  2. Hebrews 6:9
  3. Hebrews 7:7 This use of kreitton is seldom rendered better.  In the NIV it is “greater”.
  4. Hebrews 7:19
  5. Hebrews 7:22
  6. Hebrews 8:6 (2 in KJV).  In the NIV there are two superiors and one better.  So, it is Diaphoras and then Kreitton, Kreitton.  This verse and 1:4 will be discussed later.
  7. Hebrews 9:23
  8. Hebrews 10: 34

The second set starts with 11:4, which is the word polys and refers to Abel’s sacrifice.

  1. Hebrews 11: 4* great number of times.  
  2. Hebrews 11:16
  3. Hebrews 11:35
  4. Hebrews 11:40
  5. Hebrews 12:24

This set deals with our faith and the things we will see because of our faith.  11:40 and 12:24 have a context of “useful” according to Strong’s Concordance. 

11:4 MAY infer that Abel offered “more” than Cain.  Loosely, you can get that idea in Genesis 4 depending on the translation. I do not know enough about Hebrew but there is a plural form of “firstlings” which is where I got this thought.  My other thought was that Abel had offered this sacrifice before.  A final thought on these sacrifices is that in the Law, grain or “fruit of the soil” was a part of the offerings at the Tabernacle.  (Something to think about!)The second section begins and ends with Abel and his sacrifice.  To me, that is a frame that keeps all of the “better” things in context. 

Clip art http://clipart.christiansunite.com/1586342461/Bible_Characters_Clipart/Abraham_Clipart/Abraham018.jpg

Seven Miracles of Jesus +1, +1, +++++

Just seven miracles of Jesus!!??  Okay, I have to ask forgiveness – Jesus, I am sorry for putting you in a box and giving any appearances that all you did was seven miracles in the Book of John!  This is in response to a comment on the post of Seven Miracles in John.  The writer pointed out John 2:18 +19 and called it miracle number eight.  His spirit is correct and we call it the Greatest Miracle. 

Why do we only talk about seven?  No idea!  John does point out the first (2:11) and second (4:54) and points out other miraculous signs but he does not number them.  In 20: 30+31, John says Jesus did other miraculous signs so that we will believe and in 21:25 John says – “many other things”.  My best guess on “seven” is that is the number associated with completion (day God rested from creating).  This will seem strange but what else is new!  I use a 1990 copyright NIV Bible, the newer versions and even the KJV is different.  Which is “correct”?  In my Bible, the NIV was much freer in the use of the word “miraculous”.  In other copywrites, they just use the word “signs”.  If you look in the Strong’s the term signs carries the unspoken idea of miraculous.  

John was proving that Jesus was God/had His approval, etc.  I am going to list the use of the miracle or miraculous in between the “seven” miracles, and I did do a post called Plus One which will not be listed because of the wording.

These are the Seven Miracles.  

* Turning water into wine in Cana (2:1-11)

2:18+19 – The greatest miracle

2:23 – people believing in His name because of miracles

3:2 – Nicodemus

*  Healing an official’s son in Capernaum (4:46-54)

4:48 – Jesus on the Jews needing signs

*  Healing an invalid at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem (5:1-18)

*  Feeding the 5,000 near the Sea of Galilee (6:5-14)

6:2 – people followed Jesus because of miracles, vs 14 the people talking about Jesus

6:26 and 30 Jesus exposing the crowd for wanting free food and they wanted another sign

*  Walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee (6:16-21)

7:3 – His brothers acknowledge He does miracles and mocking Jesus.

7:21 – Jesus to the crowd about one miracle, 31 – the crowd knowing about the “Christ” showing signs. 

* Healing a blind man in Jerusalem (9:1-7)

9:16 – Pharisees saying how a sinner could not do these miracles.

10:25,31,38 Jesus tells them to believe the miracles because He gave glory to God.

10:41 – John never did miracles

*  Raising dead Lazarus in Bethany (11:1-45)

11:47 – the Pharisees talking about Jesus’ miracles and that He must be stopped

12:18 – refers to Lazarus

12:37 – they would not believe in Jesus

15:24 – the miracles will condemn them

20:30 – other miracles

I think John made his point about Jesus!  For a full picture, we would need to place all of the other miracles from the other Gospels into this list.  To answer a question of how did John know what the Pharisees talked about – many of them did believe and followed the Way (Acts 21: 20) and Nicodemus. 

see – MiraclesPlus OneSeven Miracles in John

Two Gardens – Easter 2020

This post is an extension of the Two Gardens post from 2019 and the Birth of a New Adam. (The link will take you to my wordpress.com post.)  The “seven exchanges” are from the book Praying Grace, it is from TBN and Hillsong Church – pgs. 80 to 93.  I am comparing and contrasting things in Eden with a similar event in Jesus’ gardens.  In this post, some of these extend past the borders of the garden.  In reality, this is also comparing Adam to Jesus (the second Adam).

  • Adam was born in Eden. Jesus was resurrected (born again) in His garden.
  • Adam could not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They were removed from Eden so could not eat from the tree of life.  Jesus’ tree gives us the opportunity to eat from the tree of life.  We will see the tree of life again!  They grow next to the river that flows from the throne in Heaven. Revelation 22: 2 adds that they produce fruit for every month of the year.
  • Adam “ran” or hid from God.  Jesus “ran” to God and His will.

The book Praying Grace has seven devotions that are labeled the “great exchanges”.  Each “first” item is what we bring to the cross and the “second” item is what Jesus gives us to replace the problem.

  1. Sin for Righteousness – Adam let sin into our lives.  Jesus covers our sin with His righteousness and allows us to be accepted by the Father. 2 Corinthians 5:21
  2. Curses for Blessings – There were curses given in Eden.  There are curses that have been spoken or given to us, even though we may not have deserved them!  Jesus’ blood covers those, ending them in our lives.  Revelations 22:3 states that there will be no more curses. Galatians 3:13-14
  3. Rejection for Acceptance – Adam rejected God when he ate the fruit.  Rejection is rooted in sin.  When we come to Jesus and make Him Lord, we are accepted again into God’s planIsaiah 53:3
  4. Sickness for Health – “By His stripes, we are healed.”  The Father has a plan for us and healthy living is part of it. Isaiah 53:5
  5. Shame for Glory – Adam and Eve felt shame and hid in the Garden. Shame is not something we have to live with because Jesus took our shame and covered it with His blood. Hebrews 12:2
  6. Poverty for Abundance – Tough times occur, but the Father has more for us than we can imagine. 2 Corinthians 8:9
  7. Death for Life – This is spiritual death.  The Father wants us coming to Jesus and accepting Life (His way). Romans 5:12

Pic is from http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/gnpi-101-jesus-resurrection/