The 7 “I AM” Sayings of Jesus
When someone says, I am, they’re usually talking about some sort of personal situation of their life.
163 times in the King James Version of the Bible, God says, “I am the LORD;”LORD being the translation of Yahweh. 163 times, God says of Himself—I AM THE LORD.
The last of the Old Testament references of “I AM The LORD” is found in Malachi 3:6; “For I am the LORD, I change not: therefore ye sons of Jacob are consumed.” This is what Hebrews 13:8 say, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
Malachi 3:6 could be rendered; “For I Am Yahweh, I change not: …” Hebrews 13:8 would be correct by saying, “Jesus Christ changes not.” Our Lord Jesus Christ named Himself, Yahweh, in the Old Testament. He also selected His name for the New Testament times. He sent His angel to Joseph, who was espoused to Mary, and told him, “…for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21). A superficial reading of this fact would indicate that Jesus is the name of the baby ― “Baby Jesus.” The Name, JESUS, is the English rendering of the Greek, “Iesous,” (EESshus) which comes from “Jehovah,” or “Jehoshua,” and they all are derived from Yahweh. So the Name, JESUS, is the New Testament equivalent of YAHWEH.
I also noticed in Matthew 1:23 that a messenger (i.e. angel) further informed Joseph that the child is to be born of a virgin, and “they shall call His name Emmanuel which, being interpreted, is God with us.”
Here is what we’ve learned:
- 163 times, God is identified in the Old Testament as—I AM YAHWEH.
- Yahweh never changes. He is always God.
- When the language of the Bible changes from Hebrew to Greek, only the spelling and pronunciation changes; that’s all. Yahweh/Jesus is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
When you consider the 163 references of “I AM YAHWEH,” we can be overwhelmed with the significance of the “I AM.” Over-and-over, again, the emphasis is on “I AM Yahweh,” i.e. LORD. Check out the occurrences in Isaiah alone! You, too, will perceive the significance and import of “I AM.”
In Isaiah 43, notice the “I AMs.”
- “For I AM the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:” (v.3).
- Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I AM He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, AM the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I AM God” (vs. 10-12).
- “I AM the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King” (v. 15).
- “I, even I, AM He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (v. 25).
The “I AM,” in these passages, is instructing us that “I AM” is Yahweh. I AM the LORD. In the New Testament, the Pharisees understood exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
Unfortunately, there are those who proclaim that Jesus Christ was a supernatural human being—but He was not God, nor even divine. Some even say He was a “Good Prophet” They claim, “Jesus never once said he was God.” They deny that Jesus Christ is God, yet we find in the Book of John He refers Himself to “I AM” 23 times alone!
Well, let’s carry the idea of I AM YAHWEH, or I AM the LORD, over into the Gospel of John and see what Jesus actually said, and appreciate the full impact of “I AM.”
- Jesus says, “I am the true vine” (15:1). Wanting to live a life of meaning and fruitfulness? Jesus is the true vine.
- 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15: 1, 5).
- It’s important to understand that salvation is not a fruit bearing event, so in this statement; Jesus was talking about our life after we’re saved. He is who we NEED to be connected to, or we will wither away and die, as a branch would, if separated from the tree, or vine. If we yield our life to Him, (Romans 12:1-2) and respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit He sent to guide us (John 14:26) we can bear much fruit.
- Jesus says, “I am the bread of life” (6:35). Spiritually hungry? Jesus is 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).
- Jesus had recently fed the 5000. Incredibly some were still asking for a miraculous sign to help them believe He was who He claimed to be. They brought up the manna their forefathers had eaten in the wilderness (Exodus 16:13-18), and that established the context for this statement.
- Jesus mentions the manna was meant to be a model of the Messiah. Whoever partakes of Him will never again know spiritual hunger. He will be their source of ALL blessings! (Physical & Spiritual) Like the manna, everyone who seeks Him will find Him (Matt. 7:7-8), but each of us has to find Him for ourselves. No one else can receive Him for us, nor can we receive Him for anyone else. When found, no one is lacking.
- As for our thirst, remember how Jesus told the woman at the well that the water He offered would cure her thirst forever. Pointing to Jacob’s well, before which they were standing, He said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
- The Psalmist wrote, As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1) In Jesus, our spiritual hunger is satisfied, and our spiritual thirst is quenched. Once we have the Holy Spirit, our search for spiritual fulfillment comes to an end, and we never need any other sustenance. The God-shaped hole in our heart is finally filled.
- Jesus says, “I am the light of the world” (8:12). Spiritually blind, groping around in the dark looking for meaning and enlightenment? Jesus is 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” (John8:12).
- Literally, this means that those who join Jesus as one of His followers will not be ignorant of spiritual matters but will have the power of understanding especially of the spiritual truth that brings eternal life. When we take the time to learn and apply these truths in faith, we discover that the old adage is true. Whatever the spiritual question, Jesus is the answer.
- Jesus says, “I am the door” (Gate)(10:9). Seeking the door to salvation and to heaven? Jesus is the door.
- “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John10:9).
- This is a reference to the Kingdom and recalls the words of Psalm 23:2, “He makes me lie down in green pasture.” Salvation is found through Jesus, He is the gate to the Kingdom, and no one can enter except through Him (John 3:3, John 14:6). Having entered through Him, we will have the freedom to come and go as we please, dwelling in a state of peace in the midst of plenty. Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6).
- Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd” (10:11). Wandering? Lost? Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
- “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
- God describes being a shepherd for Israel - Ezekiel 34:11-24
- No one expects sheep to be responsible for themselves. Owners hire shepherds for that purpose. A shepherd’s job is to accept responsibility for the safety and well-being of his flock. Most shepherds only take that to the point where it would threaten their personal safety, rightly deciding that their life is worth more than that of a sheep. A few would be willing to risk their lives to protect their sheep, but our Shepherd knowingly and willingly died to save us, because there was no other way.
- Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life”. Spiritually dead and dying? Fearing death? Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
- “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
- This is an amazing statement. The Lord had already said that whoever believes in Him would not perish but would have eternal life (John 3:16). Here he provided more detail, saying that even though a believer experiences physical death, he will still have life. He was referring to the resurrection of those who die in faith. Once again the Lord confirmed that the single qualification for eternal life is to believe that His death paid the entire price for our sins.
- Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (14:6). Wondering what is the way? Unsure of the truth? Searching for the meaning of life? Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life.
- “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John14:6).
- There is no other way into the presence of God than by accepting the Lord’s death as payment in full for our sins. As Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Jesus is the only remedy God has provided for man’s sin problem. He is the only way to eternal life. This is the truth of God’s Word.
I want to make sure we understand that Jesus saying, “I AM,” is that He was stating He was God!!
One last “I AM” statement in John also describes the event in the Garden, as did Matthew, when Judas and the others came for Jesus. It shows the POWER of “I AM”
- “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I AM He. And Judas also, which betrayed Him, stood with them. As soon then as He had said unto them, I AM He, they went backward, and fell to the ground. (John 18:4-7).
- When Christ said, “I AM He,” “they went backward, and fell to the ground,” this demonstrated the power in the spoken Name of ― I AM. If you or I were to say, “I am he,” there would be no great significance in it as it was when our Lord Jesus Christ replied, “I AM He.”
Yahweh (i.e. LORD) of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ of the New “is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). “For I AM the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6).
Are you feeling downtrodden or discouraged? Overcome by the worries of life?
- Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:4-7, 19).
Or health problems?
- Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:14-16).
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
God is the light of the world; God is the door; God is the good Shepherd; God is the resurrection; God is the way, the truth, and the life; God is the true vine.
He is our EVERRYTHING! - This is what our Lord and Savior Jesus meant when He said,