The 7 I AM Statements of Jesus
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” – John 8:58
Throughout his ministry, Jesus did many miraculous works (in fact, you can see all thirty-six of His miracles here), and taught with authority (Mark 1:27). He willingly died on the cross, and rose again – but some think Jesus never claimed to God, that perhaps this was an invention by early Christians or misreading Paul. Not only were the Jews mortified when Jesus said He was self-existing before Abraham (as God told Moses “I Am” from the burning bush), but John’s gospel has seven distinct moments where Jesus claims to be something that no human could possibly be, with language that no devout Jew would possibly use for fear of committing blasphemy. Collected below are the seven I AM statements of John, in which we hear the truth of Jesus’ identity.
The Bread of Life
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35
When the audience hears this claim, they wonder how Jesus could have come down from Heaven. Rather than make the idea easier, Jesus elevates Himself over the manna eaten by the Hebrew tribes on the journey from Egypt (Exodus 16) – the bread kept in the Ark of the Covenant as divine.
The Light of the World
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
When the pharisees and Jewish teachers argue that Jesus’ testimony is invalid because He doens’t have a witness, Jesus replies that He is not His only witness – but is in fact of God the Father who sent Him, and the Father also testifies, and two witnesses uphold truth in the Law.
The Sheep Gate
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” John 10:7
There are two things one might call a sheep gate: a separate gate for animals entering major cities like Jerusalem (the holy city), but also a gate on a paddock in the pasture. Jesus says He is the way into and out of God’s paradise and protection.