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Gospel of John, an Overview
Christ: The Heart of Christianity
The Penetration of the Gospel of John is part of the The Gospel of John Overview which provides the context for the well known 'I am' statments of Jesus from the Old Testament Exodus 3:14 passage. Other articles include the power, the purpose and the plan of the Gospel of John. Thought provoking questions are included.
The Penetration John's Gospel
The phrase 'I am' refers back to the time that God revealed His Name to Moses in Exodus 3.
'I am' in the Old Testament
From the significant ways that Jesus used the 'I am' phrase, we understand that He is saying that He is the full revelation of God. This is why the scriptures say that if a person rejects Christ, he rejects God.
Circle the Hebrew word below from Exodus 3:14 that occurs three times. Remember that Hebrew reads from right to left.
And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.’" (Exodus 3:14, NASB).
The Gospel of John has many significant 'I am' verses that go beyond the mere statements mentioned above. Through these verses it is clear that John uses the phrase 'I Am' not only for emphasis, such as in the words, 'I myself am,' but in a deeper theological way.
Yahweh or Jehovah
'I am' in the New Testament
The Gospel of John has many significant ‘I am’ verses that go beyond the mere statements mentioned above.
The most obvious are the seven "I am" statements of Jesus. For example, I am the Bread of Life.
Through these verses it is clear that John uses the phrase ‘I am’ not only for emphasis, such as in the words, ‘I myself am,’ but in a deeper theological way. God’s name ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Jehovah’ is from the same root as “I am.”
‘I am’ is used to describe Christ’s preexistent life back before ￼Abraham’s time. “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (8:58).
The significant phrase ‘I am’ is used. The ‘He’ of ‘I am He’ is italicized because it is not really there at all. Only the ‘I am’ phrase is there in Greek ((ego eimi) -see Greek on right). “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (8:24).
We have no other way to understand this phrase ‘I am’ than to see it as Christ’s glorious Name. We are led to believe that some power was behind this Name. Again, the added ‘He’ is not there. All Christ said was, ‘I am.’ When therefore He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back, and fell to the ground. (John 18:6, NASB).
Revelation of Christ's true nature
Christ is the full revelation of God to man.
Regularly experience a changed life.
When I know Christ, I will eagerly worship Him.
• Scan the OT and read aloud 10 places Yahweh (same as Jehovah) is used. (Most English versions use 'LORD' to refer to Yahweh.)
Then find 10 places in the NT which uses Lord in the title the Lord Jesus Christ. (The Greek word for Lord is used to translate Yahweh in the OT).
• Look up Jehovah or Yahweh in a Bible dictionary. (One might need to check under God's Names). See how that discussion relates to the 'I am' phrase above.
If Christ doesn't impact our lives, then He is not known to our lives!
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Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988