September 4, 2019 by directorfsm
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)
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (NJKV)
Jesús les dijo: De cierto, de cierto os digo: Antes que Abraham fuese, yo soy. (RVR 1960)
For some reason this declaration is not included in the usual “Seven Great I AM Statements of Jesus” of Jesus and often overlooked, which is exactly what I did at first. Instead of backtracking after I realized it day four I figured I would add amend the series.
This is another of Jesus’ dogmatic declarations in fact so much so that immediately after he makes it those hearing it pick up rocks to stone Him to death (John 8:59) Then they took up stones to throw at Him. What caused such a reaction? Let us break it down; I will use the ESV and Greek Lexicon:
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.
said to them: Strong’s Greek 2036: Answer, bid, bring word, command. A primary verb; to speak or say.
Truly: Strong’s Greek 281: Of Hebrew origin; properly, firm, i.e. trustworthy; adverbially, surely.
I say: Strong’s Greek 3004:(a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.
you: Strong’s Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou
before: Strong’s Greek 4250: Formerly, before. Adverb from pro; prior, sooner.
was: Strong’s Greek 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.
I: Strong’s Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.
am: Strong’s Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.
I know I rarely use such lengthy breakdowns like this but in this case it is for clarity of the text. Look carefully at what Jesus is claiming here; or better what He is not. Jesus does not just say that He was around before Abraham. He says before Abraham was I existed. Jesus declares (again) Himself God the preexistent incarnate God.
Again this is no random off the cuff declaration, Jesus is not ignorant of the Jewish Law (Torah) even as a boy (Luke 2:41-52) so He knew the implications of this statement. The problem as always was not with Jesus’ declaration but with the heart of man listening to it. Read the Opening words of the Gospel of John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [a]comprehend it.
Jesus was pre-existent there from before time and space as we can define it. He came to illuminate the darkness (open the sinful hearts of man) and man did not want the light (John 3:19). Jesus came for a purpose to save the dark world (sinners like me) will you walk into the light today?