The first account that we have of God identifying Himself is in Exodus 3:14 where He answers Moses’ question of “Whom shall I say sent me?” God’s response was, Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. That answer sounds strange to us. What kind of a name is I AM? It doesn’t sound like a name but it does sound like a description which it really is. God isn’t known by a name but by His attributes. We use names to distinguish between others with the same attributes. But there is no other with the same attributes as God. There is none like Him so He is not identified by a name but by His attributes which there is none other like Him.
Choosing to identify Himself to Moses and the Hebrews, He basically said, ‘the one who is that has always been, and always will be the same is the one who is sending you.” But it is even more clear when you realize that in all three tense, the same word for the self existent eternal God is only in the present tense. In other words, there is no such thing as time ito God. He is present in the past, as well as the future. It is a hard concept to get your mind around but it does reveal a lot about The Eternal God who is unchanging.
This theme is picked up by Jesus in the Gospel Of John. Jesus uses the phrase 23 times in reference to Himself being the self existing God by the use of the (ego eimi) I AM reference. He also claimed to be the Messiah in John 4:26. The Jews understood His claim in John 5:17-18 and in John 10:36 as a claim of deity in His declaration to be the Son of God. In John 5:39 He stated that the scriptures testified of Him. In John 10:30 He said He and His Father are one. He further said that the Comforter (Holy Spirit) would testify of Him. When He was arrested the soldiers went backwards and fell to the ground when He said I AM he. Some of the more memorable descriptions include:
- I AM the bread of Life
- I AM the light of the world.
- I AM the door of the sheep
- I AM the good shepherd
- I AM the resurrection and the life.
- I AM the way, the truth, and the life
- I AM the true vine
There is no misunderstanding who Jesus believed He is. He made it clear that He is the Messiah, God in the flesh, God the Son. The question that remains is do you believe it. All of your eternity hangs on your answer. He told Nicodemus, “You MUST be born again” You will either become a witness of this truth or you will fight this truth. Who do you say the son of man is?