20 February 2015

Jesus is the Great I Am

Jesus Is The Great I Am. Jesus reveals His character in the Bible.


A1 Objectives

B1 Describe Jesus's claim to be God in the I Am statements.

B2 Identify the word pictures Jesus used to refer to Himself.


A2 Scriptures

B1 Exodus 3:14

B2 John 6:35

B3 John 8:12

B4 John 8:56-58

B5 John 10:7

B6 John 10:11

B7 John 11:25

B8 John 14:6

B9 John 15:1

B10 John 15:5

B11 John 18:1-9


A3 Notes

B1 I Am

C1 Meaning

D1 The Self Existent One

D2 The Eternal Now

C2 The "I Ams" of Jesus. I am

D1 The Bread of Life

D2 The Light of the world

D3 The Door of the sheep

D4 The Good Shepherd

D5 The Resurrection and the Life

D6 The Way, the Truth, and the Life

D7 The Vine

B2 Christological heresies. See A6B3 below

B3 John 8:12-59

C1 I am the Light of the World (John 8:12-20)

C2 I am going away (John 8:21-30)

C3 I am the one who sets people free (John 8:31-36)

C4 I am the one who knows (John 8:37-47)

C5 I am (John 8:48-59)

B4 If we study the real thing--the real Jesus, we will recognize the false views of Jesus quickly.

C1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have gazed upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you, in order that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that our joy may be complete. (1 John 1:1-4, EMTV)

C2 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, EMTV)


A4 Question

B1 What is God?

C1 The highest being.

C2 The only one in His class--the God class/classification.

C3 The only one who has all the characteristics of God as omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, etc.

B2 What is the Trinity?

C1 One God.

C2 Three distinct persons.

C3 All equal in substance.

B3 Is Jesus God?

C1 Yes.

C2 Jesus's claim about himself.

D1 I and the Father are one." Therefore the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." (John 10:30-33, EMTV)

D2 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I am working." Because of this the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but also He called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:17-18, EMTV)

D3 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." (John 8:58, EMTV)

E1 A. G. Campbell writes, "That we must also understand the expression 'I am' (eimi) as intended to declare the full deity of Christ is clear from the fact that Jesus did not attempt an explanation. He did not try to convince the Jews that they had misunderstood Him, but rather He repeated the statement several times on various occasions." (1)

E2 The phrase "I Am" refers to the passage "And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' " (Exodus 3:14, NKJV)

B4 So who cares if Jesus is God or not? Is it important?

C1 Since Jesus states that He is God, He would be a liar if he was not. So He wouldn't be a great moral teacher.

C2 Since Jesus accepts worship (Thomas, for instance, when he said, "My Lord, and my God." (John 20:28), then Jesus would a egomaniacal liar.

C3 There would be no salvation. Only a God could be savior to obtain an eternal redemption.

B5 Is He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God." (Luke 9:20, NKJV) important? Who do you say that I am?

B6 Is Jesus telling the truth when He says He is God?

B7 Is this "I Am" stuff important? Is it any different than I am Len?

C1 "I am" comes from Exodus 3:14.

C2 God tells Moses some things about Himself.

C3 God is eternal.

C4 God is always present (tense).

C5 God is always faithful.

C6 God is self-existent.

C7 God is independent.

C8 God is absolute (the one and only).

C9 God is unchangeable.

B8 John 8:12-59

C1 What does Jesus mean when He says, "I am the light of the world"?

D1 Light is a reference to understanding and knowledge.

D2 Jesus as the light shows the true law and condition of humanity--we are sinners.

D3 Jesus is the only human (as the God/man) who speaks 100% truth.

D4 Jesus tells humanity their true condition, their true destiny (hell), the true Savior (Jesus), true doctrine, true living, etc.

C2 What is light, and what is darkness?

C3 What is the light of life? (He is the Messiah/Savior).

C4 In John 8:13 was Jesus's testimony of Himself true? Is that the only testimony He had?

C5 In John 8:18 when did the Father ever testify about the Son?

D1 Matthew 3:17 "This is my beloved Son."

D2 Matthew 17:5

D3 Compare John 5:31-47.

C6 Who is Jesus's Father? (He speaks of God the Father. Jesus had no earthly father who got Mary pregnant.)

C7 In John 8:31 why can't these Jews go to where Jesus will be? (They are sinners and have not been born again).

C8 In John 8:34 what do the Jews have to believe? Is this true for all people? How important is Jesus to this conversion?

C9 Comparing John 8:15 with John 8:26 is there a contradiction? Jesus says, "I judge no one," then later says, "I have many things to say and to judge concerning you."

D1 There was no judgment then, but judgment time is coming, is future.

D2 It is then that Jesus will render judgment.

D3 He is the Judge, though He is not judging as present.

D4 If He was, His judgment, decision, would be righteous and true.

C10 Concerning John 8:28 what is Jesus referring to when He says, "When the Son of Man is lifted up?" Is there an incident in the past that this refers to? Is there an incident in the future that this refers to? (Yes, Numbers 21:7-9 and John 19:18)

C11 John 8:32.

D1 Who is Jesus talking to? (Those who believe in Him).

D2 In John 8:31 what does "...abide in My word" mean?

E1 Continue in what I have taught.

E2 It is both believing and doing (the doing shows that we really do believe.

D3 How can we know what is true? (Abiding in His word).

D4 What is the source of truth? (His word--the Bible). What about experiences that people speak of today as arch-heretic Mike Bikel, or Todd Bentley, or Morning Star Ministries (?) for example.

D5 Can the devil tell the truth? (Yes). Give an example. (Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge concerning you,' and, 'In their hands they will lift you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.' " Jesus said to him, "Again, it is written, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' " Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone you shall serve.' " Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4:5-11, EMTV)

D6 How are we going to know the difference? (Correct interpretation of the Bible. We must understand/interpret the Bible in its plain, normal sense and use the context. We use the vertical context of the passages before and after and the horizontal context of studying passages speaking of the same/similar topics).

D7 How can truth set us free?

E1 Knowing our true condition, that we are not good and deserve punishment from God. Knowing the truth about forgiveness by believing in Jesus Christ.

E2 Educating us what a godly life is, so how to treat our wife, our children, our friends, our enemies, the poor, etc.

D8 If truth is not believed, what can happen?

E1 Blindness

F1 "...among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the illumination of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine on them." (2 Corinthians 4:4, EMTV)

F2 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (Romans 11:7, EMTV)

F3 But even though He had done so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he said: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them." (John 12:37-40, EMTV)

E2 Deception

F1 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15, EMTV)

F2 But the Spirit explicitly says, that in latter times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having been seared with a hot iron as to their own conscience, forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who are believers and have come to know the truth. Because every creature of God is good, and not one is to be rejected, being received with thanksgiving, for it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:1-5, EMTV)

D9 John 8:33--What did the people think Jesus was talking about? (Physical slavery).

D10 How did Jesus answer them in John 8:34-36? (Spiritual slavery to sin and the devil).

D11 In John 8:45-47 why didn't the people believe Him? (He told them the truth).

D12 When the people countered the Lord Jesus, what method did they use?

E1 Ridicule (John 8:48)

E2 Lies

D13 What kind of death was Jesus talking about in John 8:51? (Spiritual death, that is, eternity in the Lake of Fire).

D14 Did Jesus live before Abraham? (John 8:58)

D15 Why did this incite the Jews?

E1 They knew when He said, "I am", He was calling Himself God.

E2 In Vincent's Word Studies he comments, "Was, I am [γενεσθαι, εγω ειμι] . It is important to observe the distinction between the two verbs. Abraham 's life was under the conditions of time, and therefore had a temporal beginning. Hence, Abraham came into being, or was born [γενεσθαι] . Jesus ' life was from and to eternity. Hence the formula for absolute, timeless existence, I am [εγω ειμι] ."

E3 Wilbur Pickering's comment on this passage is "Here Jesus is openly, unmistakably claiming to be Jehovah. They are obliged to get the point, and not wanting to acknowledge Him they pick up stones. At this point to argue, as some have done, that Jesus was merely a good, moral man won't wash. Either He was God, as He claimed; or He was a charlatan, a megalomaniac; or He was demonized. The Jews at that time took the third option; I take the first."

D16 So did Jesus ever claim that He was God?

E1 John 8:58

E2 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will proclaim to us all things." Jesus said to her, "I am He, the One speaking to you." (John 4:25-26, EMTV)

E3 Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" (John 1:49, EMTV)

E4 But Jesus kept silent. So reacting the high priest said to Him, "I put you under oath by the Living God so that you tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God!" (Matthew 26:63, WPNT)

C12 John 18:1-9

D1 When did this take place? (At His betrayal).

D2 In John 18:4 Jesus asks them, "Who you looking for?" What was His answer in John 18:5? (I Am).

D3 Many translations have "I am he." Is there something different the way "he" is written, and what does this mean?

E1 The word "he" is in italics indicating that there is no Greek word for "he."

E2 Jesus is saying, "I AM" just as He said "I AM" in John 8:58.

D4 Was there an unusual effect on those who came to arrest Him? (They fell backward. John 18:6).

D5 What does this falling backward mean?

E1 Jesus authority.

E2 Jesus doing a miracle in knocking them down with a word.

D6 Who was in control here--those who came to arrest him or Jesus?

E1 Consider:

F1 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. (Psalms 27:2, NKJV)

F2 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion Who seek to destroy my life; Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor Who wish me evil. (Psalms 40:14, NKJV)

E2 Adam Clarke comments on this verse, "None of the other evangelists mentions this very important circumstance. Our Lord chose to give them this proof of his infinite power, that they might know that their power could not prevail against him if he chose to exert his might, seeing that the very breath of his mouth confounded, drove back, and struck them down to the earth. Thus by the blast of God they might have perished, and by the breath of his nostrils they might have been consumed."

E3 From now on I tell you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe that I AM. (John 13:19, EMTV)


A5 Resources

B1 (1) As quoted from THE NEW EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, 1999, Josh McDowell, Page 142, Accessed 15 February 2015



A6 Appendix

B1 List of Scriptures for lesson


A2 Scriptures

B1 Exodus 3:14

And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' " (Exodus 3:14, NKJV)

B2 John 6:35

And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. (John 6:35, NKJV)

B3 John 8:12

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12, NKJV)

B4 John 8:56-58

"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." (John 8:56-58, NKJV)

B5 John 10:7

Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. (John 10:7, NKJV)

B6 John 10:11

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. (John 10:11, NKJV)

B7 John 11:25

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. (John 11:25, NKJV)

B8 John 14:6

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6, NKJV)

B9 John 15:1

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. (John 15:1, NKJV)

B10 John 15:5

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, NKJV)

B11 John 18:1-9

When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground. Then He asked them again, "Whom are you seeking?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus answered, "I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way," that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, "Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none." (John 18:1-9, NKJV)


B2 List of the "I ams" found in the book of Revelation. (Via ICR)


"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending" (Revelation 1:8).

"I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" (Revelation 1:11).

"Fear not; I am the first and the last" (Revelation 1:17).

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end" (Revelation 21:6).

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" (Revelation 22:13).

"I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star"(Revelation 22:16).


B3 List of historical Christological heresies



Jesus is only a man

Makes Jesus a liar or lunatic.

Colossians 2:9,


Jesus had all of God's perfections but had a beginning. Jesus was also of a different substance than God

Jesus would not be the perfect Savior. He had to be the God/man of the same substance as God.

John 8:58, Isaiah 9:6,

Hebrews 13:8, Isaiah 44:8, John 14:9


Jesus was only a man, who lived a most righteous life and was adopted by God.

Jesus would not be the perfect Savior.

Hebrews 13:8, Ecclesiastes 7:20,

Isaiah 45:21-22, Philippians 2:6-7


Jesus is God/spirit. He has only an appearance as a human.

Jesus would not be the perfect Savior, because He was not a real man.

Luke 24:39, Ephesians 5:30, 1 John 1:1-2, Hebrews 2:14


Jesus had a human body and a human soul, but he had the divinity as his spirit.

Jesus was neither perfect God nor perfect man. All of man needs to be saved. Jesus would have to be perfect God/man to save the whole man—body, soul, and spirit.

Philippians 2:6-8, Colossians 1:15, John 1:1, Matthew 26:12, Matthew 26:38, Luke 23:46


Jesus had a human and separate God person, so 2 persons in one body. Oil and water do not mix, so God and human are not mixed in Jesus. Jesus is a man who was infused by the second person of the Trinity.

Jesus was a split personality to be sure and not a complete savior. Which person was crucified? The one unified person of Jesus Christ, the God/man, was the Savior.

John 1:1, John 1:14, Hebrews 1:1-4, Philippians 2:4-7. This view is erroneous in that Jesus is always seen in the Scripture as one person. Mary gave birth not to just a son with a human nature but the God/man, one person and two natures. When Jesus died on the cross, both God and man died, since Jesus on the cross was the God/man. Jesus is one person, the God/man unmixed, unchanged, undivided, and inseparable.


Jesus was a mixture of human and divine with the divine characteristics predominate.

Humans needed a human savior who was fully God as well.

Jesus is fully human as any other human (yet without sin 1 John 3:5) and fully God. There are two natures and one person. Jesus is fully divine as in John 1:1 and yet fully flesh as in John 1:14.


Jesus had a mixture of human and divine is some sort of third substance. Sort of like hot water and cold water get mixed and are neither hot nor cold.

Jesus wouldn't be a perfect savior since he is neither human nor divine.

There is no mixture of natures. Jesus is fully human and fully God—100% human and 100% God.





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