Genesis 1:1 tells us that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In Exodus 3:13-14, God is addressing Moses by way of a burning bush that is not consumed by the fire. God, the same One as in Genesis 1, is calling Moses back to his Hebrew people to proclaim that God will soon deliver them from Egyptian enslavement. Moses asks God whom should he say sent him, and God answers, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM sent me to you.’”
A few thousand years later Jesus and the Pharisees are embroiled in a heated exchange (John 8:13ff). This is a discussion with deep spiritual ramifications as the Light of Jesus and the darkness of Satan collide. The Pharisees are laying hold of the statement that Abraham is their father while at the same time proclaiming Jesus to be a liar. Jesus has proclaimed them to be of their father, the father of lies, Satan; while He then states the titanic phrase, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58).
The Pharisees were so stunned and angered by this statement that they took up stones to throw at him. In essence, they were so incensed that they wanted to kill Him then and there. But what made them so angry?
The Pharisees were well aware that God proclaimed Himself to Moses as I AM. They also knew that this I AM was the very same God that created the heavens and earth. And now, standing in front of them was a carpenter in sandals calling Himself I AM. No, Jesus did not bluntly blurt that He was God. Instead, He made statements to this fact that include this exchange as well as the other six I AM statements. He also backed up this claim through His many miracles.
But think about this; how would you have responded if you were a Pharisee? How do you respond now? In John 11:25-26 Jesus tells Martha that “I AM the resurrection and the life. Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” This very same question applies to you and I today, do you, do I, believe this?
If we’re honest, this is a tough thing for us to grasp. Jesus understands that. One of the reasons why God came in the flesh, why this Emmanuel, God with us, came in human form, was so that we could begin grasping this. The creator of the heavens and the earth became man so that we could actually see Him, experience Him, and follow and have salvation faith in Him.
This leads us to begin considering the differences between eternal and infinite. But that will be Part 2 next week.