Archive for May 30th, 2014


  1. Point 2: John 8:58 (cf. Exodus 3:14), “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”  εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἰησοῦς, Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι ἐγὼ εἰμί.[1]
    1. Explanation:
      • Although Abraham lived 2,000 years before Christ, Jesus made a startling statement, “Before Abraham was born, I am.”
      •  What was Jesus point in this statement?  Was His point in reference to Himself merely coming or existing before Abraham?  No.  If that was the case then He could have merely said, “Before Abraham was born, I was.”  But He did not say that.[2] 
      • Instead our Lord Jesus uses egō eimi (cf. vv. 24, 28).  It is also used elsewhere in John.
        • John 8:24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”[3]
        • John 8:28, “So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
        • John 9:9, “Others were saying, ‘This is he,’ still others were saying, ‘No, but he is like him.’ He kept saying, ‘I am the one.'”
        • John 18:5, “They answered Him, ‘Jesus the Nazarene.’ He said to them, ‘I am He.’ And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them.”
        • John 18:6, “So when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.”
        • John 18:8, “Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way.'”
        • The phrase “I am” is also prevalent and has strong connections throughout Isaiah 40-55.
      • The phrase “I am,” although not exact like “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex. 3:14), points our to God’s sovereignty.  “I am”  is also prevalent and has strong connections throughout Isaiah 40-55.  The “I am” reveals Himself in different categories.  For further study, I encourage you to study the verses below.  It will be a great encouragement to your soul.
        • Isaiah 41:4 [first & the last], 10 [fear], 13 [fear]
        • Isaiah 42:6, 8 [glory]
        • Isaiah 43:3 [Holy One, Savior],[fear]
        • Isaiah 43:10, 11-13, 15 [deliverer], 25 [wipes out transgressions]
        • Isaiah 44:5, 6 [no other God]
        • Isaiah 45:5 [no other God], 6 [no other], 7 [creates light, darkness; causes well-being, creates calamity], 18 [created the heavens], 22 [turn to Him because there is no other]
        • Isaiah 46:9 [no other God],
        • Isaiah 48:12 [first and the last], 17 [teaches]
        • Isaiah 49:23 [know that I am the Lord]
        • Isaiah 51:12 [he comforts], 15 [stirs up the sea]
        • Isaiah 52:6 [speaks]
      • When the Jews heard this statement, they knew what He was saying.  They knew He was not merely referring to the point that He came before Abraham, but they understood his focal point; a point that conveyed the notion that He was God.  Jesus was claiming deity.
      • Jesus was referring Himself to be Yahweh (YHWH).  Jesus shares the name of God.
        • LORD (YHWH, Yahweh/Kyrios); Lord (Adonai [Heb.]/Kyrios [Gk)
          • LORD GOD: Gen. 2:4; Exod. 3:15-18; Deut. 3:24 LXX [etc.]; 6:4; Pss. 34:8; 118:25; Isa. 8:12-13; 40:3, 13; 45:23; Joel 2:32
          • Lord Jesus: Matt. 3:3; 7:21-22; 8:25; 14:30; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; 6:46; Acts 1:24; 2:21, 36; 7:59-60; 8:25 [etc.]; Rom. 10:9-13; 1 Cor. 1:2, 8 [etc.], 31; 2:16; 4:4-5; 5:4; 6:11; 7:17, 32-35; 8:6; 10:21-22; 16:22-23; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Peter 2:3; 3:13-15
        • Jesus is “Lord.”
          • See Acts 10:36; Romans 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:11
          • Kyrios represents the name of Yahweh in the OT; it is the “I AM” of the Ex. 3:14.[4]
        • Distinction concerning letter case: Yahweh/YHWH is translated “LORD” in your English Bibles, while Adonai is spelled mostly as “Lord” (cf. Matthew 3:3).
        • To the Jewish leaders it was blasphemous for Jesus to say “I AM.”  As a result, they picked up stones to stone Him.
    2. In our next installment, we will continue talking about Yahweh and I AM.

[1]Kurt Aland et al., The Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology) (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993; 2006), Jn 8:58.

[2]D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans, 1991), 358.

[3]All Scripture is quoted from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995); unless otherwise noted.

[4]John M. Frame, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Phillipsburg, NJ: Crossway, 2013), 881.



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