This is now the 8th in a series of the Names of Christ in the Gospel of John.  The name we consider today is perhaps the most outrageous claim made by Jesus Christ. Certainly the Jews thought so. Indeed many people today think so too. The name he claimed goes to the very heart of the identity of the Christian faith. It is probably the most succinct name possible, yet the most profound. That name is “I AM”.

Jesus uses it in the closing verses of the 8th chapter of the Gospel account written by John the Evangelist, an apostle of Christ.


The use of the name, “I AM” immediately provoked a violent reaction from the Jews with whom he was conversing. In fact, himself a Jew,  Jesus used the name even though he knew full well what  their reaction was to be.

The name “I AM” is first found in 2nd book of the Old Testament, namely Exodus. The book of Exodus is extremely important and informative. It describes the life of slavery endured by the Jews during their 400 years of captivity in Egypt. It describes the life and ministry of Moses, the great law giver and leader of the Jewish nation; it describes the plagues sent on the Egyptians for their refusal to release the chosen people of God, the Jews, from their slavery; it describes the final release and ‘going out’ [the Exodus] of the Jews from Egypt; it describes the destruction of the power of the Egyptians to hold down the Jewish people; and it goes on to describe God giving the Ten Commandments of the Jewish religion and Christian faith;  and the God given blue prints for the construction of the Tabernacle – the special mobile Temple for the Jewish worship of God.

The striking feature of the book is that God intervened in the affairs of mankind in a dramatic and deterministic way. God took the initiative and God caused events to work out exactly as he wanted them to. God manifestly took the Jewish people for his own ‘chosen people’.

In doing so, God provided a story which could be passed on down the generations. He wrote a narrative in historical events which provides a physical picture of the spiritual Truth he would reveal centuries later in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and in the formation and nature of the New Testament people of God, the church.

Exodus is extremely instructive in the spiritual truth of Christianity by virtue of its historical and physical events. Those events provide both an easily understood narrative and an allegory for Christian spiritual teaching and practice.

It is from this book, and the third chapter, that we learn of the unique and comprehensive name of God, I AM.

God himself reveals it to Moses, the first and great historic leader of the Jewish people as a nation. When Moses asks God what name he should give to identify him to the Jewish people, God answers,


To Jesus and to the Jews therefore, the name “I AM” meant God himself. It meant the essential identity of God; it meant the God of gods, the very centre of all existence, authority and power. It was the ultimate name because it was the quintessential definition of  GOD.

If you stop and think about it, what name should God have ? What other name would the actual God of this universe communicate himself by ?

God makes no attempt here to explain his existence – and does not throughout the Bible. He merely asserts who he is. After all, how can the creature question the CREATOR ? How can the creature begin to understand the magnificence or the magnitude of God ? How can the creature reason with God on God’s transcendent terms ?

By saying that he is “I AM”, God makes clear to us all we need to know, indeed all we can begin to know or understand.

“I AM” tells me that this Being is the Quintessence of all things. This Being is the Ultimate. This Being EXISTS not just permanently, but eternally. He exists both within and beyond our dimensions of existence and understanding. He exists as the very meaning of existence, the one who is existence….

As such he is necessarily the very essence of all existence in creation. He is everywhere at all times without any limitation on his presence, his knowledge, his power, his authority …

As the Creator, he has all Authority and Power over his creation – you, me and the physical world we see and touch about us.

He does not ask us for the right to that power or authority; he simply has it. He simply states it.

We mere mortals may question it, or deny it, or refuse it – but we can do nothing to change it.

We therefore have a Maker with all rights over our lives. That includes our Birth, our Death and everything in between…

WE have in fact One to Whom we belong.

And belonging, we are subject – not just to a power we choose or decide, but a power which states IT IS.

We therefore have a choice. We can deny and reject that power and that authority, or we can recognise it; accept it; and submit to it.

What we cannot do, however, is avoid it.

For we will all come to a place one day when we stand before that Authority with all its Power,  to answer for what we did with the life which HE gave to us, and which HE will require again from us.

Jesus Christ claimed to be that very “I AM”.

Jesus Christ claimed amazing exclusivity: as the one who can provide access to God; as the one who sacrificed himself before that God on our behalf. As the one who took the punishment of God for your sin and mine, that we might be delivered from God’s righteous punishment.

That we should honour  Christ as –  “I AM”.

By Christianity

The personal icon photograph shows God's creation, the world. It reminds us that God is the Creator of all - the almighty, the all knowing and all present - the one who is most important of all. The one to whom we owe all, and the one to whom we will answer for all. The site's header image of the Bible [King James Authorised Version], a map, a light and a compass represent to us that God's word in the Bible is our spiritual map, illumination and guide through this life. Those who obey his teaching will know his presence and power - Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 23

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