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. 

Jesus Asked for a Drink

Friday of Holy Week has Jesus tried before Pilate, the Roman governor, beaten and sent to Herod, king of Galilee, made to carry His cross through the streets of Jerusalem Crux fish 2and finally nailed to that cross for all to see.  Jesus said very little during this time period, which is part of the type and shadow He fulfilled as the sacrificial lamb.  He spoke to Pilate, women in the street, Mary His mother and John, and asked God a question but for the most part He said little and did not defend His actions when accused.

The_Crucifixion025John 19:28 records one time He spoke and said, “I am thirsty.”  Since He has lost a lot of blood by this time it naturally makes sense that He would be thirsty.  Those three words have caused a lot of thought on my part this week.  Would a man who has resigned himself to die be asking for fluid?  Is this a sign of struggling to stay alive?  The Romans had vinegar there not to ease the suffering of those on the cross but to prolong it.

Verse twenty-eight answers some of my questions.  Jesus knew “all was completed” but that Scripture had to be fulfilled He asked for the drink.  The drink and how it was offered to Him are part of what needed to be fulfilled.  In Matthew 27:34 He was first offered wine and gall (a pain killer) but He refused to drink that.  Remember during communion He said He would not drink wine again until He was with them in Heaven.  The NIV says wine vinegar but vinegar has become a different drink because of the continued fermenting action.  In John it was offered to Him on a hyssop stalk.  Hyssop in the Old Testament deals with cleansing and has several places where this is mentioned. (A new Bible study in the making.)  So this fits in with the “types” being Crucifix from Misson Espiritu in Goliad,TXfulfilled.

My own curiosity drove this experiment.  It seems that hyssop stalks are about two feet long and if the soldier was about five foot eight inches tall that would have put Jesus’ head about eight feet in the air (about standard room height).  We always tend to make our crosses really big, I was just curious.

Think about the power in the statement “knowing that all was now completed.”  The disciples were picked and trained, parables had been taught, miracles and healings had been accomplished, and every type and shadow and prophecy had been fulfilled.  The last thing left to do on this Friday was to ask for a drink and leave.

Matthew 27: 17 – 75, Mark 15:1- 47, Luke 22:66 -23:56, John 18:28 – 19:42