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Title:Jesus Echoes the "I AM" statements of Jehovah in the Gospel of John!
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Body:Jesus Echoes the "I AM" statements of Jehovah in the Gospel of John!

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Jesus Echoes Jehovah! Click to View One paragraph introduction

Click to View Summary overview

Click to View Discussion of Jesus' 'I AM' statements in John

Click to View The ten I AM's in John without a predicate

Click to View Prime Echo Examples

Click to View Secondary Echo Examples

Click to View Three main categories of 'I am' sayings

Click to View Double meaning of "I AM"

Click to View Use of Irony in "I AM" statements

Click to View "I AM" as an object of faith

Click to View "ani hu" is a code word of absolute monotheism

Click to View "ego eimi" equated with Lord and God

Click to View Themes linked directly with 'I am'

Click to View Life as a theme in the I AM sayings of Jesus

Click to View Abraham, redemption, salvation and the use of "I AM"

Click to View Gospel of John Sequence: "Greater than"

One paragraph introduction:

Jesus deliberately echoes a pattern of themes that are unique to Jehovah by using the expression "I AM" (Greek: ego eimi; Hebrew: ani hu). The high density of I AM sayings of Jehovah found in Chapters 40-55 of Isaiah match the high density of I AM sayings of Jesus in the gospel of John. The vast majority of these sayings are only found in Isaiah 40-55 and John because the theme of Isaiah 40-55 is the identify of Jehovah and the theme of John is the identity of Jesus. When Jesus echoes the sayings of Jehovah in Isaiah, he is clearly applying this "language of deity" to himself as Jehovah. If we see one elephant in a cloud, it may be a coincidence, but 15 elephants linked trunk to tail is a pattern of design. So too with Jesus saying "I AM". By itself "I AM" would prove little, but the pattern of His use in various themes that exactly match Isaiah, create an unmistakable mosaic that is a powerful and irrefutable proof of his deity.

Summary overview

'Ani hu' in Second Isaiah [Isaiah chapters 40-66] is always attributed to Yahweh. It is a solemn statement or assertion that only he can properly make. If anyone else spoke these words, it would be a sign of presumptuous pride, an attempt to claim equality with Yahweh or displace him. This is very nearly the case in 47.8, 10, in which Babylon makes the presumptuous statement, "I am, and there is no one besides me". In these verses it is interesting that Second Isaiah uses the single word 'I' ('ani) to express the idea "I am". He is evidently contrasting Babylon's claims with the 'ani hu' of Yahweh. Yet even here he refrains from attributing the phrase 'am hu' to anyone other than Yahweh.

'The phrase 'ani hu' signifies that Yahweh alone is God, in contrast to the so-called "gods" of the various peoples of the world. This assertion of exclusive monotheism is a major theme for Second Isaiah which he expresses in a variety of ways ... he makes the explicit assertion that there is no god besides Yahweh (44.6, 8; 45.5, 6, 18, 21, 22; 46.9)

'... For Second Isaiah the belief in Yahweh as Lord of history is closely related to the assertion that he alone is God. This belief in Yahweh's sovereignty over history finds particular expression in the prophet's conviction that he is about to redeem the people of Israel by restoring them to their homeland. In a number of passages Second Isaiah weaves these ideas together (44.6-8; 45.1-8; 46.5-13).

For Second Isaiah the belief in Yahweh as redeemer of Israel was closely related to the belief that he is also the creator of the world... It is significant to note here that Second Isaiah associates the phrase 'am hu' with creation faith. In this way he indicates that this phrase of self-predication, in addition to its other meanings, also presents Yahweh as creator of the world.

'One of Second Isaiah's main tasks was to awaken faith on the part of his fellow exiles in Babylon and reassure them that Yahweh was indeed about to restore them to their homeland. Many of the people, he realised, were inclined to believe that Yahweh was powerless because the Babylonians had destroyed their temple in Jerusalem and taken a large number of Israelites into exile. In the context of this need for renewed faith, Second Isaiah represents Yahweh as using the self-predication "I am He".'

'Second Isaiah regarded the phrase "I am he" as an abbreviated form of other expressions, especially "I am Yahweh," summing up in concise terms everything represented by the longer terms.'

(Philip B. Harner, The 'I Am' of the fourth Gospel, p 7-15, as summarized by Mark Ball, , 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 202)

Discussion of Jesus' 'I AM' statements in John:

"Though the first occurrence of 'ego eimi' is strangely phrased, the reader may not see any hidden meaning in Jesus' words. However, as the words 'I am' become theologically loaded, especially when they provoke a strange reaction on the part of Jesus' narrative audience, the reader may be forced to ask whether that first occurrence was as straightforward as it initially appeared. By the same words Jesus identifies himself on the lake and claims to be the Bread of Life. By the same words Jesus claims to be the Light of the World and then makes mysterious statements about his identity (8:24,28) until the Jews finally take up stones to throw at him when he says 'Before Abraham was, I am' (8:58). At the same time the word 'ego eimi' point forward to a future fulfillment (8:24,28) and thus the reader is called to anticipate what it is about Jesus' exaltation on the cross which will reveal his identity in terms of 'ego eimi'. The 'I am' of ch. 13 points forward to the betrayal and thereby simultaneously anticipates that of ch. 18. In this way the use of 'I am, in John 8 and 13 demands that the reader understand them in the context of the whole Gospel and especially of the betrayal and passion. In addition, the very form of the 'I am' sayings calls for the reader to interpret them in the light of other similar sayings. Thus the words of 8:18 recall Jesus' words in 4:26. The 'ego eimi' of ch. 14 is reminiscent in form to that of ch. 11, while the claim in ch. 15 occurs in the context of a parable and is thus reminiscent of ch. 10. The similarities between the different 'I am' sayings suggest that they should be interpreted in the light of one another and should perhaps be seen along the lines of the other Christological themes of the Gospel. It is difficult, however, to determine a strict pattern to the way the 'I am' sayings develop in the Gospel as a whole, except that, by the time of Jesus' arrest the words have become a motif that the reader understands. The identity of Jesus revealed in this motif points forward to the cross and it is there that Jesus' opponents will ultimately see the significance of the words (8:28)." (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 149-150)

While the words 'I am' may not be profound in themselves, the way that they are formulated in John points the reader to these words in Isaiah for a correct understanding of who Jesus is. The use of the phrase in Isaiah fits in very well with John's own Christology and suggests that John saw the events and words of Jesus' life as a fulfillment of that day when Israel would see the salvation of Yahweh. By the way he uses 'ego eimi' he wishes his readers to see the same. (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 203)

The 10 times "ego eimi" is used without a predicate in John.

John 4:26 Jesus *said to her, "I who speak to you am He [ego eimi]."

John 6:20 But He *said to them, "It is I [ego eimi]; do not be afraid."

John 8:24 "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am [ego eimi], you shall die in your sins."

John 8:28 Jesus therefore said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [ego eimi]"

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am. [ego eimi]"

John 9:9 He [man born blind] kept saying, "I am [ego eimi] the one."

John 13:19 "From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am" [ego eimi].

John 18:5 They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazarene." He *said to them, "I am [ego eimi]." And Judas also who was betraying Him, was standing with them.

John 18:6 When therefore He said to them, "I am," [ego eimi] they drew back, and fell to the ground.

John 18:8 Jesus answered, "I told you that I am [ego eimi]; if therefore you seek Me, let these go their way,"

Prime Echo Examples

These passages stand on their own in proving the deity of Christ:

John 6:20 echoes Isaiah 41:10,13 (fear not)

Phil 2:6-8 echoes John 13:19 which echoes Isaiah 43:10-12 (saviour/God incarnate)

John 14:5-6 echoes Isaiah 40:3 (the way)

John 4:25-26 echoes Isaiah 52:6 (quoted by Jesus)

John 8:58 echoes Isaiah 40-55; Ex 3:14; Psalm 90:2 (eternal)

John 18 echoes Isaiah's "I AM"

Rev 22:12-13 echoes Isaiah 44:6 (first and last)

Acts 26:15-18 echoes Isaiah 42:6-8 (calls to service)

John 1:1-5 echoes Isaiah 44:24 (only creator)

1 Cor 10:4 echoes Isaiah 44:8 (only Rock)

King of Babylon echoes Jehovah: Isa 47:8-10; 46:9 (quote)

Secondary Echo Examples

These passages follow the pattern of Jesus echoing the words of Jehovah, but are not in themselves definitive in proving the deity of Christ.

John 11:25 echoes Deut 32:39 (Resurrection)

John 18:37 echoes Isaiah 43:15 (King)

Acts 4:12 echoes Zechariah 14:9 (only name)

John 8:18 echoes 1 Samuel 12:5 (witness)

Mark 14:61-64 echoes Isaiah 19:1 (coming)

John 6 echoes Exodus 16:12 (manna)

Rev 22:16 echoes Isaiah 60:1-5 (morning star)

John 10:9-15 echoes Isaiah 40:11 (shepherd)

These 'I am' sayings without an image fit into three main categories of form:

Those sayings combined with the definite article and a present participle: 4:26; 8:18

Those sayings which are grammatically absolute and in which the words 'ego eimi' stand alone: 8:58; 6:20; 18:4-8

Those sayings which are grammatically absolute and which stand in a 'oti' clause to express future fulfillment: 8:24; 8:28; 13:19

These three formal distinctions may prove more helpful in the categorization of the 'I am' sayings without a predicate nominative than the traditional discussion of whether they have a predicate (explicit or implied). By comparing the form of these sayings it becomes clear that there is not one fixed formula. Rather there are three formal variations. By the fact that the participial clause acts as a predicate, the first category of sayings, to which 4.26 and 8.18 belong, seems to create a formal link between the 'I am' sayings with a predicate nominative (image) and those without. On the other hand, the second and third categories of 'I am' sayings are grammatically absolute (whether a predicate can be implied from the context or not) . Even within the second category, where the words 'ego eimi' stand alone, it is possible to see a distinction between the saying of 8.58 and the other two. In 8:58 'ego eimi' is in formal contrast to the verb [Greek], while in 6.20 and 18.5, 6, 8 the words stand as a phrase in their own right. In the third category 'ego eimi' stands within a 'oti' clause which points to future fulfilment. It is this category which Wetter and Zimmermann regard as a formula. However, the variation in the presentation of 'I am' when not accompanied by an image suggests that to designate the words 'ego eimi' on their own as a I revelation- formula' may be too simplistic, since it is clear that the 'formula' has several distinct forms. While John's use of 'ego eimi' without a predicate is very varied in form, this does not of itself rule out a background which understood 'ego eimi' as a fixed formula. The literary study of 'I am' in John showed time and again that it was being used on more than one level. It may be therefore that a background, where the mere utterance of the words 'ego eimi' had great significance, is deliberately played off against a less loaded use of the term. However, the Rabbinic interpretation, where 'ani hu' has become such a fixed formula that the mere utterance of it would represent blasphemy,' does not easily fit the way 'I am' without a predicate is used in John. If a rabbinic interpretation is meant to be seen behind Jesus' words in Jn 8:24 and 28, it is surprising that it is the Jews who then ask 'Who are you?' (8.25). They would be the ones most likely to understand the rabbinic implications. If the words 'ego eimi' were to be understood as a name for God here, then the reaction of v. 59 would be expected here. Instead, the Jews simply ask 'Who are you?' A hostile reaction would be expected again in v. 28, but there the reaction is positive to the extent that many of these Jews put their faith in Jesus. Thus, although such an interpretation is possible, it seems that it could only be brought into play on the two occasions where there is an explicit reaction to the words of Jesus (8:58 and 18:58), but not in the highly problematic sayings of 8:24, 28 and 13:19. should also be noted here that even the reaction of the Jews to the 'ego eimi' in Jn 8:58 cannot simply be explained as a reaction to the Hebrew term 'ani hu' as a name for God. Even if such an interpretation is implicit, the emphasis in this verse is on the difference between the verb [Greek] and the verb 'eimi'. The tension between the tense of the two verbs would be lost if the reader was only meant to see the utterance of a divine name here. It would therefore be better to look for a background for these sayings which also contains the variations of form which occur in John. It may be that in finding such a background, further light will be shed on both the function and meaning of the sayings in John. It will be argued below that such a background is found in the Isaianic use of 'ani hu' which parallels the Johannine use of 'ego eimi' both in its function and in its formulation. (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 169-171)

Double meaning of "I AM"

"We may look next at 8:24 and 28, two occurrences of the predicateless ego eimi within the course of a relatively brief passage extending from 8:21 to 8:29. As in 8:58 and 13:19, the phrase in these verses may be understood in an absolute sense, pointing to the unity of the Son and the Father. In addition these two verses also allow a predicate to be supplied from the context, so that the ego eimi may be understood as representing the grammatically complete phrase, ego eimi and a predicate. In 8:24 and 28, that is, we meet ego eimi used with a double meaning. Because John is careful to maintain the identity of the absolute ego eimi as a distinct form of expression, he can also take advantage of the opportunity to use it in a second sense as an abbreviated form of ego eimi with a predicate. In 8:24 Jesus says to the Jews, "I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that ego eimi." It is significant that here, as in 13:19, the meaning of ego eimi is explicitly presented as an object of faith. It is further emphasized that to apprehend this meaning is a matter of the utmost importance, for otherwise men will have no hope of receiving life and forgiveness of sins. These aspects of the meaning of ego eimi indicate that the phrase is used here in the same solemn and decisive sense as in 13:19, that is, as a self-contained expression signifying the unity of the Son and the Father. Verses 26 and 27 provide a further commentary on this meaning of the phrase. in verse 26 Jesus speaks of his relation to the Father: "He who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him." In the following verse John adds his own comment on the meaning of verse 24: "They did not understand that he spoke to them of the Father. " In these ways John makes it clear that the ego eimi in 8:24 is intended to be understood as complete and meaningful in itself. At the same time, however, he indicates that he is using it with a double meaning. When Jesus speaks the words ego eimi, the Jews evidently understand it to mean "I am the one." They mentally supply a predicate. But since they are uncertain exactly what this predicate should be, they ask, "Who are you?" (v. 25). The irony of this question, made possible by the double meaning of ego eimi, is that Jesus has just spoken of his identity but they have not understood his meaning. The exact sense of Jesus' reply to their question is uncertain. The Revised Standard Version translates, "Even what I have told you from the beginning," or alternatively, "Why do I talk to you at all?" (v. 25). In either case, his reply indicates the futility of further attempts to answer their question directly, and he goes on to speak of the Father and his relation to him. In 8:28 it is also clear that John uses ego eimi with a double meaning. In this verse and the next Jesus says, "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that ego eimi, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him." On the one hand, we see that the absolute ego eimi in this passage is complete in itself. After the crucifixion and exaltation of Jesus, men will realize who he is by perceiving his unity with the Father. This unity is a present reality, for the Father who sent him continues to be with him; but it is a unity that men will be able to perceive only after the glorification of Jesus. At the same time, it is also clear that the mention of the Son of man in this verse allows a predicate to be supplied with ego eimi. After the crucifixion and exaltation of Jesus, men will also be able to perceive that the Son of man has truly come in him. The double meaning of ego eimi in this verse complements the use of the expression in 8:24, for those who wonder who Jesus is will perceive after his glorification that he is the Son of man. The double meaning of ego eimi in 8:28 also points to the close interrelationship between these two aspects of Jesus' identity, for the perception of his unity with the Father coincides with the realization that he is the Son of man. It would be impossible, John implies, to make one assertion without the other." (Philip B. Harner, The 'I Am' of the fourth Gospel, p43-45)

Use of Irony in "I AM" statements

"Thomas's question 'How can we know the way' only becomes ironic in the light of Jesus' revelation of himself as the Way, for while the 'I am' saying resolves the ambiguity in the use of the word 'way', it also reveals the extent of Thomas's ignorance. He does not know that the one to whom he speaks is also the one of whom he speaks (cf. 4.26; 6.35). The ambiguity of Jesus' initial statements to the disciples (cf. 13.33; 14.5, 7, 19-21) allows irony to take place, for the first offer of saving truth by Jesus is always understood by the interlocutor on the surface level. Jesus clarifies his meaning to them (14.2, 6, 9, 22-23). At the same time this shows that they have not grasped the deeper meaning of what he has said. The use of irony here again furthers the revelation of the character of Jesus. If it was not for Thomas's inability to see who Jesus really is, there would be no need for such a clear explanation. Since Thomas does not understand, Jesus makes the emphatic declaration, 'I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me' (v. 6). The irony here is in the fact that 'this magnificent statement goes far beyond the scope of the question'. Jesus' claim through an 'I am' saying thus functions as an indispensable part of the irony developed in this chapter as a result of the differing points of view between Jesus and his disciples." ... "The use of 'ego eimi' in the irony of John's Gospel has shown itself time and time again. The Samaritan woman expects a negative answer to her question 'Are you greater than our father Jacob?'(4.12). The Jews expect a negative answer to their question 'Are you greater than our father Abraham' (8.54). To the former Jesus replies that he is the messiah (4.26), to the latter he answers the statement directly. 'Before Abraham was, I am' (8.58). The Samaritan woman does not realise that when she speaks of the messiah, she speaks to the messiah. The crowd do not realize that when they ask for the bread (6.34), that they are speaking with the one who is that bread (6.35). When Martha talks of the resurrection at the last day, she does not realize that she is speaking with the one who can bring that resurrection into the present (11.24, 25). On the use of such irony in ch. 4, O'Day goes so far as to say that: "As a result of John's use of irony to communicate the dynamics of revelation, the narrative does not mediate the revelation but is the revelation." (O'Day, Revelation, p 92) The potential for irony reaches its peak in the 'I am' sayings without a predicate. The Jews do not understand who Jesus is when he claims that they will die in their sins unless they believe that 'ego eimi' (8.24,25). Here the potential for misunderstanding the term makes irony possible. The astute reader must recognize both the senselessness of the term when taken the way the Jews do and also the deeper meaning that the term may have in and of itself, in order to appreciate any irony. The double entendre conveyed by the absolute use of 'I am' comes to its greatest expression in the arrest of Jesus when it is obvious that a mundane meaning is being played off against a far deeper meaning. It is only those who see both meanings who can appreciate the irony." (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 124, 152-153)

"I AM" as an object of faith

It is significant that "ego eimi" is used as an explicit object of faith in John 8:24 and 13:19.

"ani hu" is a code word of absolute monotheism

Lightfoot suggested that, although each 'I am' saying should be decided by the context, the occurrences of the absolute 'ego eimi' in John 8 and 13.19 should be translated 'I am', since 'the two words in the Greek are the same as those of the LXX in certain O.T. passages, e.g. Deut. 32.39 9 is. 46.4 where Yahweh is the speaker, and thus emphasizes his Godhead'. He also reasoned that this interpretation should be kept in the reader's mind in Jn 18.4-8 while accepting the RV's rendering 'I am he' . A far more detailed investigation into the relationship between 'ego eimi' and the 'ani hu' of the Old Testament was undertaken by J. Richter in his dissertation.' With Wetter, he regards 'ego eimi' as a fixed formula. Richter sets out to investigate in detail the thesis, which had been hinted at many times, that this formula refers back to the Old Testament formula 'ani hu'. Richter looks at the idea of ani hu as a divine revelation formula. In a comprehensive study of the use of 'I am' in the Old Testament, he argues that the 'profane' (i.e. the human), which is limited to 'identification and emphatic self- statement',' and the 'divine' usage of ani hu are parallel in form.' By an individual exegesis of the divine occurrences of ani hu in Deutero-Isaiah and Deuteronomy, he is able to distinguish the peculiarities of the divine revelation formula. His conclusion is that ani hu is a code word of absolute monotheism and thus it becomes 'by its breadth and all embracing significance the sum of all God's statements about himself." By reasoning that 'ego eimi' in the New Testament does indeed point back to ani hu in the Old Testament, he maintains that Jesus speaks as God. Zimmermann looks at the Old Testament use of the term 'ani YHWH' which he regards as the Revelation Formula of the Old Testament.' He wishes to build a bridge between that formula and the 'ego eimi' of Jesus. He finds such a link in the LXX translation of Isaiah where the absolute 'ego eimi' becomes the translation of ani hu. This in turn is connected with the formula ani YHWH. The LXX of Isa 45:18 shows an even clearer link between the formula ani YHWH and the 'ego eimi' of the New Testament since the ani Yhwh there is translated with an absolute 'ego eimi'. To those who focus on Deutero-Isaiah for an understanding of the 'I am' sayings of John can be added the names of Feuillet, Brown, Coetzee and many others. Harner sees Deutero-Isaiah as the main influence on the absolute 'I am' of John, but does not rule out a link with the Tetragrammaton of Exod 3:14 nor with the interpretation given to the words by Rabbinic Judaism. (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 33-34)

"ego eimi" equated with Lord and God

Luke 24:39 and John 20:27-28 are clearly two different contexts. However the connection with "I AM" [ego eimi] and Jesus being proclaimed God, is worthy of taking note. Luke calls the reader to wonder who the "ego eimi" is. John answers this with "Lord and God". So ego eimi is equated with Lord and God.

Luke 24:39 "See My hands and My feet, that it is I [ego eimi] Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."

John 20:27-28 "Then He *said to Thomas, 'Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.' Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'"

Themes linked directly with 'I am'

'I am' and light: John 8:12; 11:25; 14:6; 6:35; 10:9-11,15

'I am' and belief: John 6:35; 8:24; 11:25; 13:19

'I am' and knowledge: John 8:28; 10:14; 14:6,7

'I am' and witness: John 8:12-13, 8:18

'I am' and truth: John 4:24, 26; 8:17-18; 14:6

'I am' and origin/destiny: John 6:40, 5 1; 7:34; 8:23-24

'I am' and time: past and future: John 8:58; 13:19; 7:34

'I am' and the Father: John 8:18; 8:28; 10:14; 14:6; 15:1

'I am' and Titles: John 4:26; 8:28

'I am' and Authority: John 6:20; 8:28; 18:5-6

Life as a theme in the I AM sayings of Jesus

John 8:12 Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life."

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies

John 14:6 Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

John 10:9-11,15 "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. v15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Abraham as source of deliverance redemption, salvation and the use of "I AM"

(Isa 29:22 "Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham")

Isa 41

Isa 51

John 8

Isaiah 41:4 "Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? 'I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I AM. [Heb: 'ani hu' - 'ego eimi' in LXX]'"

Isaiah 41:8 "But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend

Isaiah 41:10, 13 'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ... For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'

Isaiah 51:2 "Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; When he was one I called him, Then I blessed him and multiplied him."

Isaiah 51:12 "I, even I, am [Heb: 'anoki anoki hu' - 'ego eimi ego eimi' in LXX] He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, And of the son of man who is made like grass

John 8:31-33 "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free'?"

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."

Gospel of John Sequence: "Greater than"

The whole gospel of John is written in a way so that the reader discovers the identity of Jesus. It begins and ends with a bold proclamation of Jesus deity: John 1:1; 20:28. But after stating the deity of Jesus in the first verse, the reader is brought back to the beginning of faith. A clearly discernable sequence spans the gospel from start to finish. The gospel of John answers for the reader, "Who is Jesus?" The answers come in a form of, "Jesus is "greater than"... any human (1:15), greater than Jacob (4:12), greater than Abraham (8:58), greater than any prophet or Moses, (9:17) Jesus is an object of divine worship (9:38).

Greater than any prophet including Moses: God, an object of worship.

Eternally pre-existed and greater than Abraham: Eternal God.

Greater than Jacob: Messiah.

Pre-existed and greater than John: More than Human.

1:15,30

4:12

8:58

9:17,38

Detailed data section

John 6:20 echoes Isaiah 41:10,13

Isaiah 41:10,13

'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ... For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'

I AM: fear not, I am with you (fellowship, abiding, indwelling, protection, security)

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John 6:20

But He *said to them, "It is I [ego eimi - predicateless absolute]; do not be afraid."

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

These verses in Isaiah are a commandment from the mouth of Jehovah not to fear because He is their saviour are unmistakably intended for the mouth of Jesus who echoes their structure and content. Jesus is creator, redeemer, saviour, our owner/purchaser and said, "do not fear". To Peter when he walked on water. The predicate absolute 'I AM' is used of the saviour in Isaiah. Jesus the saviour, used the same predicate absolute being our saviour. Not only is the I AM the same in the LXX and John 6, but so is the word to "fear not" the identical Greek word in all these verses in the LXX. This is most striking.

Other times Jesus echoed the theme:

Mt 14:27-33 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, I am; [ego eimi - predicateless absolute] do not be afraid." 28 And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29 And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God's Son!"

Revelation 1:17-18 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Mt 28:20 " teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Isaiah 41:10, 13 'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ... For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'

Isaiah 43:1 But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear [phobeo LXX], for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!

Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.

Isaiah 43:3 "For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior"

Isaiah 43:5 "Do not fear, for I am with you"

Isaiah 43:10-13 "You are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. [Heb: 'ani hu' - 'ego eimi' in LXX] Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. "I, even I, am [ego eimi] the Lord; And there is no savior besides Me. "It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "And I am [ego eimi] God. 13 "Even from eternity I am He [ego eimi] ; And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?"

Isaiah 46:4 Even to your old age, I [Heb: 'ani hu' - 'ego eimi' in LXX] shall be the same, And even to your graying years I [ego eimi] shall bear you! I have done it, and I shall carry you; And I shall bear you, and I shall deliver you.

Isaiah 51:12 "I, even I, am [Heb: 'anoki anoki hu' - 'ego eimi ego eimi' in LXX] He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, And of the son of man who is made like grass

Isaiah 51:15 "For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the Lord of hosts is His name).

Jeremiah 1:8 "Do not be afraid [phobeo LXX] of them, For I am [ego eimi LXX] with you to deliver you," declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 42:11 'Do not be afraid [phobeo LXX] of the king of Babylon, whom you are now fearing; do not be afraid of him,' declares the Lord, 'for I am [ego eimi LXX] with you to save you and deliver you from his hand.

Jeremiah 46:28 "O Jacob My servant, do not fear [phobeo LXX]," declares the Lord, "For I am [ego eimi LXX] with you. For I shall make a full end of all the nations Where I have driven you, Yet I shall not make a full end of you; But I shall correct you properly And by no means leave you unpunished."

Genesis 26:24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, "I am [ego eimi LXX] the God of your father Abraham; Do not fear [phobeo LXX], for I am with you. I will bless you, and multiply your descendants, For the sake of My servant Abraham."

Genesis 46:3 And He said, "I am [ego eimi LXX] God, the God of your father; do not be afraid [phobeo LXX] to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there.

Phil 2:6 echoes John 13:19 which echoes Isaiah 43:10-12

(The incarnation of I AM, Jehovah, God)

Isaiah 43:10-12

"You are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am. [Heb: 'ani hu' - 'ego eimi' in LXX] Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. "I, even I, am ['ego eimi'] the Lord; And there is no savior besides Me."

I AM: You will know I am Saviour, God incarnate

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John 13:1-19

"From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am. v19 ['ego eimi' - predicateless absolute]"

v 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God ... rose from supper, and laid aside His garments ... and taking a towel, He girded Himself about. ... Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. ... And so when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and reclined at the table again ... "You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. ... v 19 you should know that I AM" [ego eimi - predicateless absolute]"

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

In a spectacular three way parallel, Jesus quotes Isa 43:10 during the foot washing of John 13. Then Paul writes Phil 2:6-8 which is exactly parallel to John 13 as an incarnation passage. He salts the readers anticipation of proof of His identify at a future time. Something about his arrest will become a proof of His identity while invoking the I AM. Amazingly, at his arrest in John 18, Jesus uses the same predicateless I AM again TWICE causing those arresting him to take three steps backwards and fall to the ground. Just as Israel, as a witness, would eventually come to know for certain that Jehovah was their only saviour, so too the apostles, as witnesses, would soon come to know for certain that Jesus was their only saviour. See John 18 echoes Isaiah's "I AM" for a detailed review of this theme. Immediately below are many passages that establish the expression, "and you shall know that I AM" as being the language of Jehovah!

But even more spectacular is the fact that the foot washing of John 13, is a metaphor for the incarnation itself and directly parallel to Phil 2:6. Phil 2:6 states Jesus existed in the form of God, equal to the Father. Phil 2:6-8 is the fulfillment of "when it does occur you will believe that I AM".

Other times Jesus echoed the theme:

John 8:24 "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am ['ego eimi' - predicateless absolute], you shall die in your sins."

John 8:28 Jesus therefore said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am, ['ego eimi' - predicateless absolute]" (Connect this with the utterance of the centurion at the cross)

John 13:19 "From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am ['ego eimi' - predicateless absolute]". (Connect this I AM with Jesus' three I AMs at the time of His arrest in John 18:1-11, where the mob falls to the ground at the utterance of the very words, I AM. Jesus then restores the ear before their eyes.)

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Isaiah 43:25 "I, even I, am [Heb: 'anoki anoki hu' - 'ego eimi' 'ego eimi' in LXX] the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

Isaiah 43:10-13 "You are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. [Heb: 'ani hu' - 'ego eimi' in LXX] Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. "I, even I, am ['ego eimi'] the Lord; And there is no savior besides Me. "It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "And I am ['ego eimi'] God. 13 "Even from eternity I am He ['ego eimi'] ; And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?"

Isaiah 45:21 "Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.

Isaiah 52:6 "Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, 'Here I am.'[Heb: 'ani hu' - "'ego eimi' autos at" in LXX]"

Isaiah 49:23,26 "And kings will be your guardians, And their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth, And lick the dust of your feet; And you will know that I am the Lord; Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame. ... "And I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh, And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; And all flesh will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

Isaiah 45:3 "And I will give you the treasures of darkness, And hidden wealth of secret places, In order that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.

Isaiah 45:21-22 "Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I ['ego eimi'], the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.

"That you may know that I am the Lord" passages:

Exodus 6:7 'and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

Exodus 10:2 how I performed My signs among them; that you may know that I am the Lord."

Exodus 16:12 "At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God.'"

Exodus 29:46 "And they shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt

Exodus 31:13 "'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

Exodus 7:5 "And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt."

Exodus 14:4 "the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord."

Exodus 7:17 'Thus says the Lord, "By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, I will strike the water that is in the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it shall be turned to blood.

Exodus 8:22 "But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are living, so that no swarms of insects will be there, in order that you may know that I, the Lord, am in the midst of the land.

Ezekiel 25:7 And I shall cut you off from the peoples and make you perish from the lands; I shall destroy you. Thus you will know that I am the Lord."

Isaiah 49:26 "And I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh, And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; And all flesh will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

Isaiah 52:6 "Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, 'Here I am.'[Heb: 'ani hu' - "'ego eimi' autos at" in LXX]"

Discussion of John 13:1-19

The context of John 13:1-19, where Jesus concludes his washing the disciples feet, by using the expression "I AM" [ego eimi - predicateless absolute] v 19 is very significant. We note the John 13 is exactly parallel to Phil 2:6-8, which speaks very clearly of the incarnation.

John 13 Washing feet, I AM and the incarnation of Phil 2:6

commentary

John 13:3-17

Phil 2:5-11

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Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God

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outer garments represent the form of God

rose from supper, and laid aside His garments

who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped

towel represents human flesh

and taking a towel, He girded Himself about.

but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man,

God serving in human flesh

Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

restored to the form of God again after ascension. (John 17:5)

And so when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and reclined at the table again

Therefore also God highly exalted Him

Jn 13:19 = Isaiah 43:10 "In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I AM. [Heb: 'ani hu' - 'ego eimi' in LXX]

"You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. ... v 19 you should know that I AM" [ego eimi - predicateless absolute]"

at the name of Jesus every knee should bow [worship]... every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:10 = Is. 45:23 = Rom. 14:11)

John 14:5-6 Echoes Isaiah 40:3

Isaiah 40:3

A voice is calling, "Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

I AM: The Way, Unknown Way

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John 14:5-6

Thomas *said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?" Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

The possibility that Jesus' claim to be the way is based on Isaiah's concept of the 'way of the LORD' is strengthened by the fact that the community at Qumran called themselves the 'Way'. As Brown points out, 'Those who entered the community were "those who have chosen the Way" (I QS ix 17-18), while those who apostatized were "those who turn aside from the Way" (CD i 3). The regulations of community life were "regulations of the Way" (I QS ix 21)." Their reason for naming themselves thus is explicitly based on Isa. 40.3. This is seen in I QS 8.12-16: 'When men [who have been tested] become members of the community in Israel according to all these rules, they shall separate themselves from the places where wicked men dwell in order to go into the desert to prepare the way of Him, as it is written, 'Prepare the way of the Lord in the desert; make straight a highway for our God in the wilderness. (Brown, John, 11, p. 629) This (way) is the study of the Law which He commanded through Moses, that they may act according to all that has been revealed from age to age, and as the prophets have revealed through His holy spirit. (This version is that of Brown, John, 11, p. 629) The fact that the community at Qumran closely associated the concept of the 'way' with the Law strengthens the suggestion that Jesus' words should also be linked with the concept of the Law. What is more interesting for the above study is the fact that Qumran provides an example in which the 'way of the LORD' as expressed in Isaiah can be abbreviated to 'the way' and can be applied to a specific community. (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 237)

Other times Jesus echoed the theme:

Jn 1:23,26 [Isa 40:3 + 42:16] He said, "I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as Isaiah the prophet said." ... 26 among you stands One whom you do not know.

The Way revealed: Acts 9:2; 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14,22

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Isaiah 42:16 [Jn 14:5] "And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone." [context: led by God out of Babylonian captivity]

Isaiah 43:19 "Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 35:8 [messianic prophecy of Jesus] And a highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it.

Isaiah 48:17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Isaiah 62:10-11 [only saviour is Jehovah: Isaiah 43:11] Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway; Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, "Lo, your salvation comes; Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him."

Isaiah 65:15-16 But My servants will be called by another name [Christian]. "Because he who is blessed in the earth Shall be blessed by the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Shall swear by the God of truth"

Isaiah 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:3 "Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David.

Malachi 3:1 "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the Lord of hosts.

Psalm 119:15 I will meditate on Thy precepts, And regard Thy ways.

Psalm 119:30,37 I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Thine ordinances before me. ... Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Thy ways.

Deuteronomy 8:6 Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

John 4:25-26 echoes Isaiah 52:6

Isaiah 52:6

"Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, 'Here I am.'[Heb: 'ani hu' - "ego eimi autos at" in LXX]"

I AM: speaking

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John 4:25-26

John 4:25-26 The woman *said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us." John 4:26 Jesus *said to her, "I who speak to you am He [ego eimi - predicateless absolute]."

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

Jesus is quoting from Isa 52:6.

John 4:25-26 is almost identical to Isa 52:6 in LXX: notice "in that day" is messianic! In fact the day of Isa 52:6 is actually fulfilled in John 4:23, when Jesus spoke of the day that "now is" when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth.

If it is correct to see in Jesus' words a reference to the similar words of Isaiah, then it would mean that this verse [John 4:25-26] operates on two levels. The first level is there for all to see. Jesus claims to be the messiah of whom the Samaritan woman speaks. It is the phrasing of Jesus' words, which provides the key to interpreting them on a far deeper level. On this second level, Jesus' words make him out to be the fulfillment of the LORD's promise that the people would know his name, and also know that it is he who speaks. Jesus' identity as messiah is therefore an identity which includes an identification with Yahweh. Thus the verbal analogy of Jesus' words with the words of Yahweh in Isaiah calls for a radical reinterpretation of the first 'surface' level of meaning in Jesus' words. (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 180)

John 8:58 echoes Isaiah 40-55; Ex 3:14; Psalm 90:2

Click here for detailed document on John 8:58

Exodus 3:14

"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.'"

Psalm 90:2

"Before the mountains were born, Or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God."

I AM: Eternal

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John 8:56-58

"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 The Jews therefore said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

See detailed document on John 8:58

"The contrast between the verbs ... is as unmistakable, as it is in Ps 90:2 "before the mountains came into being ... from age to age Thou Art." Of God is could not be said that He "came into being" or "became," for He IS. ... It has been pointed out already that "ego eimi" used absolutely, where no predicate is expressed or implied, is the equivalent to the solemn "I (am) He, which is the self-designation of Yahweh in the prophets. A similar use of the phrase is found at 13:19. It is clear that John means to represent Jesus as thus claiming for himself the timeless being of Deity, as distinct from the temporal existence of man." (John, J. H. Bernard, John 8:58, p322)

"But perhaps the greatest assertion to eternal preexistence is to be found in Jesus' "I am" saying of John 8:58." (Reymond, New Systematic Theology, p.231, "I am")

"Jesus also outrages his opponents by saying, "Before Abraham was, I am" (8:58). It is not easy to see this as anything less than the language of deity, for Jesus is affirming that he has timeless existence." (Morris, New Testament Theology; p.235-238 The "I Am" Sayings)

"In this context, Jesus does not merely claim to be older than Abraham. Gabriel or any of the angels, or even the devil, could have claimed as much. Are we really to believe that Gabriel or the devil could say, "Before Abraham came into existence, I am"? The truth is that this statement was a claim to be eternal, to exist without beginning, in contrast to Abraham, who had a beginning." (Bowman: Why You Should Believe in the Trinity; p 100 "I Am")

The reader who has seen an allusion to the exclusive claims of Yahweh [Isa 43:10] in John 8:24 and John 8:28 now knows that such a formulation [I AM] on Jesus' lips was no mistake [in John 8:58], for, by means of the very same words, he claims to have existed before Abraham and thus claims for himself not only the words of God but the very nature of the God who claimed 'I am he: before me no god was formed.' The Jews correctly interpret Jesus' words as an identification with the nature of God (cf. 10.33). They are, however, unwilling to accept that his witness is true. For this reason they pick up stones in order to kill Jesus. (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 197)

The 'ego eimi' which occurs as the climax to ch. 8 raises different questions from those above. Jesus' argument with his opponents has reached its peak in discussion about origin and paternity. The Jews strengthen the question they raised in v. 25, saying 'Who do you claim to beT (v. 53). Jesus' final statement is introduced with the solemn words 'truly truly'. Such an introduction stresses the importance of Jesus' claim: 'Before Abraham was born, I am'. The contrast between the verbs in this sentence is not as vivid in the English translation as in the Greek. Givnomai, the aorist infinitive' of [Greek], expresses the coming into existence of Abraham, maybe even his birth. 'ego eimi' is in stark contrast to that verb. Not only does the one verb express coming into existence while the other expresses existence itself, but the change in tense is evocative. Immediately 'there is a contrast between the created and the uncreated, and the temporal and the eternal'.' The omniscient narrator of the prologue is echoed by the omniscient, and 'omni-temporal' Jesus. The construction of Jesus' statement itself shows that his claim is not simply to pre-existence; for that, Jesus could have claimed that he was ([Greek], imperfect of 'eimi'), or even came into existence ([Greek]) before Abraham. The reaction of the Jews emphasizes the significance of such a phrase to the reader. However, the narrator does not explain the reason that the Jews attempt to stone Jesus. It must be assumed that the implied reader knows why Jesus' audience reacts in the way that it does to his claim. (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 91-92)

John 18 echoes Isaiah 40-55

I AM: Jehovah

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John 18:4-8

"They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazarene." He *said to them, "I am ['ego eimi' - predicateless absolute]." And Judas also who was betraying Him, was standing with them. When therefore He said to them, "I am," ['ego eimi' - predicateless absolute] they drew back, and fell to the ground. ... Jesus answered, "I told you that I am ['ego eimi' - predicateless absolute]; if therefore you seek Me, let these go their way,"

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

"The phrase 'ego eimi' has been used by Jesus in the Gospel on several occasions and has only once, in 8.58, provoked any surprising reaction on the part of his opponents. In ch. 8, Jesus' words provoked his opponents to anger and he was the one who 'drew back'. In contrast, when Jesus utters the Words 'I am' in 18.5-8, he deliberately makes himself known to his opponents and, rather than hiding himself from them, he hands himself over to them (vv. 8,12). Here Jesus' words provoke his opponents to fear and they are the ones who 'draw back and fall to the ground'. Despite the different reactions on the part of the narrative audience, in both instances it is precisely these surprising reactions to his utterance of the words 'ego eimi' that alert the reader to look for a deeper meaning behind them. On at least one level it is clear that the use of 'ego eimi' in John 18 draws the reader's attention to the other places where the phrase has been used, even though the previous occurrences may have been before a different narrative audience. Although the above references to Jesus' 'I am' sayings elsewhere in John may help determine the force of the term for the reader, it is the soldiers and officers from the chief priests who react to Jesus' words here. The reader may well ask whether the words 'ego eimi' would be understood by such people in a way that would explain their actions.' If the text of John 18 implies both a very simple and a very profound use of 'ego eimi' when Jesus declares himself to his aggressors, the only clue the narrative gives to this double-meaning is the reaction of Jesus' narrative audience. The reader is expected to 'read between the lines' of the text and understand far more than is explicitly stated. It is significant that this final 'ego eimi' alludes to several occurrences of the phrase elsewhere within the Gospel (8:24, 28, [58]; 10:14-18; 13:19). This occurrence, which in many ways fulfils the predictions of other occurrences of the term, takes the reader back to those occurrences to re-interpret them in the light of the reaction of the narrative audience to Jesus' words here. That the "I am' is obviously here used to convey two meanings at one and the same time may also throw light on the earlier occurrences of the term. The way in which the self-declaration of Jesus in 18.5-8 is interpreted will automatically colour the use of 'ego eimi' elsewhere in the Gospel, for it shows that the author of John can at one and the same time use 'I am' as a simple formula for identification and intend overtones of profound significance that are only explicit in this instance. It must be asked whether 'ego eimi' is a term used with deliberate double meaning as part of Johannine irony whereby a simple phrase can take on profound theological importance.' A literary study of the function of 'ego eimi' in the arrest scene of Jesus has shown the important part the words play in the structure of this individual periscope. By the repetition of the words, attention is focused on Jesus and his self-identification. Furthermore, this scene occurs at an important point of the Gospel narrative. The arrest marks the beginning of Jesus' passion, and the words 'ego eimi' show that Jesus willingly gives himself up to death. He, rather than the captors, is in control of his own destiny. Again the words 'ego eimi' are accompanied by irony, for Judas thinks that he controls the arrest, but in fact Jesus does. The phrase 'ego eimi' epitomizes the characterization of Jesus as the dominant character in this scene. Such dominance is due to the different perspective from which Jesus operates. Because he knows that this is his hour of glory, he goes to the cross willingly. Because Peter does not know this, he vainly tries to defend his master. Finally, it could be said that the words 'ego eimi' actually function as a theme in these verses. Their threefold repetition at such a crucial stage of the Gospel and the mysterious reaction on the part of the narrative audience, forces the reader to ask whether the previous occurrences of the term were quite as straightforward as they first appeared. The questions raised by the reaction of Jesus' narrative audience to the words here encourages the reader to look for a deeper explanation to the simple words 'ego eimi'." (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 143-145)

The strange use of the words 'I am' in Jn 18.5, 6 and 8 clearly show that, while 'ego eimi' is used as a simple identification formula,' the two words may simultaneously have a far deeper meaning. The reason that the soldiers fall down when Jesus utters the words 'ego eimi' is not stated. It is assumed that the reader will know. While accepting the fact that Jesus identifies himself to the soldiers with these words, the reader must look for something that would explain their strange reaction. The words here act as a trigger to point the reader to the other occurrences of the term in the Gospel to explain Jesus' words. The threefold repetition of 'ego eimi' emphasizes the importance of the expression. That this saying occurs at the moment of betrayal particularly points back to 13.19 where the fulfillment of Scripture and of Jesus' own words was linked to the betrayal in order that the disciples might believe.' Thus a simple recognition formula in which Jesus states that he is the person whom the soldiers seek is given a double meaning by the reaction of those same soldiers to his words as well as by the previous use of 'ego eimi' in the Gospel. Although it is correct to talk of Jesus' identity in terms of Jesus of Nazareth on one level, on another level there is something that cannot be explained without looking into the environment in which the Gospel was first written. In that environment, the Gospel writer can take simple words and, by the way they are formulated (8:24,28; 13:19) as well as by the reactions to them (8:58; 18:5-6,8), allude to a background where Yahweh alone is God and Saviour. In the Gospel, these words are taken up by Jesus and applied to himself.(David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 201)

Rev 22:12-13 Echoes Isaiah 44:6

Isaiah 44:6

"Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me."

I AM: First and Last

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Rev 22:12-13

"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

In Isaiah there are three passages where Jehovah says "I am the first and the last." In Revelation there are 5 passages that say the same. The expression has a triplet of variations: "First/last; alpha/omega; beginning/end" (alpha/omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet) Three are spoken by Jesus and two by the Father. Both the Father and the Son say, "I am the first and the last" once at the beginning of the book and once at the end. Jesus says it once in the discourse to the seven churches in 2:6.

So the amazing double-triplet of the "first and last" statements is nothing but design. Isaiah has the Father saying them three times and Revelation has Jesus saying them three times. Here is an indisputable example of where Jesus echoes the very language of Jehovah from Isaiah. Then in Revelation, both the Father and the Son echo each other!

Other times Jesus echoed the theme:

(of the Son) Revelation 1:17-18 [referring to Jesus] And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades."

(of the Son) Rev 2:8 "The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life says"

(of the Son) Rev 22:12-13 "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

(of the Father) Rev 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

(of the Father) Rev 21:6 "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end"

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Isaiah 41:4 "Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? 'I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He. [Heb: 'ani hu' - 'ego eimi' in LXX]'"

Isaiah 44:6 "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me."

Isaiah 48:12 "Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He ['ego eimi'], I am the first, I am also the last.

Acts 26:15-18 echoes Isaiah 42:6-8

Isaiah 42:6-8

"I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon, And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.

I AM: the one who calls you to service

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Acts 26:15-18

"And I said, 'Who art Thou, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you [Paul] are persecuting. 16 'But arise, and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

In Isaiah, Jehovah is seen as the one who appoints his servant to preach the gospel. Then Jesus appears to Paul and appoints him as a servant to preach the gospel. The two texts are so similar in thought, that there can be little doubt that Jesus is echoing the words of Jehovah.

The servant in the passage of Isaiah 42 may be Israel (41:8; 43:10; 49:3) or Jesus Christ (53:11). Isa 49:6 is quoted in Acts 13:47 and applied to Paul regarding appointment by Jesus to preach the gospel. So Jehovah and Jesus use the identical language when they appoint preachers. This language was never used by the prophets or apostles to appoint preachers so the language is unique to deity.

Other times Jesus echoed the theme:

Acts 13:47 [Of Apostle, Isa 49:6] "For thus the Lord has commanded us, 'I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, That You should bring salvation to the end of the earth.'"

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Isaiah 49:6 [Acts 13:47] He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

John 1:1-5 Echoes Isaiah 44:24

Isaiah 44:24

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, "I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself, And spreading out the earth all alone.

I AM: creator

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John 1:3

"All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

Jesus echoes the words of Jehovah by saying, "I am the maker of all things." The absoluteness of Jehovah being alone in creation of all things in Isaiah is matched by the "apart from Him nothing came into being" in John 1:3. Jesus is obviously Jehovah, creator. Jehovah's Witnesses vainly try to say the Father created Jesus who in turn created everything else because John 1:3 won't allow it. If Jesus is a thing that came into being then John 1:3 misleads!

Other times Jesus echoed the theme:

John 1:1-5 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Isaiah 45:5-7 "I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun. That there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these."

Isaiah 45:18 "For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, But formed it to be inhabited), "I am [Heb: 'ani hu' - 'ego eimi' in LXX] the Lord, and there is none else."

1 Cor 10:4 echoes Isaiah 44:8

Isaiah 44:8

"'Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.'"

I AM: The Rock

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1 Cor 10:4

"and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ."

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

Isaiah speaks of Jehovah as being the only Rock. In the New Testament, we find that Jesus is also a rock. This is another example of Jesus echoing Jehovah.

Other times Jesus echoed the theme:

Romans 9:33 [Isaiah 28:16; also 1 Peter 2:8] "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed."

King of Babylon echoes Jehovah: Isa 47:8-10; 46:9

Isaiah 46:9 "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me"

I AM: God

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King of Babylon Isaiah 47:8,10

Jehovah speaking to Babylon: "Now, then, hear this, you sensual one, Who dwells securely, Who [Babylon speaking] says in your heart, 'I am, [Heb: 'ani' - 'ego eimi' in LXX] and there is no one besides me. I shall not sit as a widow, Nor shall I know loss of children.' 10 "And you felt secure in your wickedness and said, 'No one sees me,' Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; For you have said in your heart, 'I am, [Heb: 'ani' - 'ego eimi' in LXX] and there is no one besides me.'

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

The king of Babylon blasphemously echoes the divine language of Jehovah by saying simply, "I AM". "I AM is equated with "no one besides me". When Jesus uses the same identification in the New Testament, he is also clearly echoing the language of deity.

John 11:25 Echoes Deut 32:39

Deut 32:39

'See now that I, I am ['ego eimi'], And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.

I AM: Resurrection

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John 11:25

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,

Comments about how the theme is echoed by Jesus:

Deuteronomy and Exodus are the only other books in the Bible that contains the predicateless "I AM" statements. Jesus clearly echoes the Deuteronomy passage by claiming to be the source of resurrection. In the Old Testament, Jehovah is the one who raises the dead. In the New Testament, Jesus is the one who raises the dead. "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:40) Jesus is Jehovah, but not the same person as the Father. "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes." (John 5:21) Even though the Father has raised others from the dead, it will be Jesus, not the Father, who will raise the dead at the second coming. Again we have a sharing or echoing of attributes between the Father and the Son.

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Psalm 68:20 Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.

Psalm 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol; For He will receive me.

Psalm 56:13 For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.

1 Samuel 2:6 "The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up.

Isaiah 51:12 "I, even I, am [Heb: 'anoki anoki hu' - 'ego eimi' 'ego eimi' in LXX] He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, And of the son of man who is made like grass

John 18:37 echoes Isaiah 43:15

Isaiah 43:15

"I am the Lord, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King."

I AM: King

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John 18:37

You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

Although it is true that many creatures are ascribed the title of king in scripture (David), we must not overlook the fact that Jehovah is also called a King. Jesus, being God, is also the King of Israel. Notice the Isaiah passage connects, "Holy One" "creator" and "King" in a single passage. Jesus is ascribed all three of these in the New Testament.

The expression "Holy One" is used in the Bible 58 times. 30 times it is in Isaiah always referring to God as an exclusive title for deity. It is used in the New testament 6 times of Christ (Mk 1:24 Lk 4:34 Jn 6:69 Acts 2:27; 13:35) and three times of the Father (1 Pe 1:15 1 Jn 2:20 Re 16:5) but never of anyone else. In the New Testament "Holy One" is an exclusive title for God. The only exceptions are once of Aaron (Ps 106:16) and 4 times exclusively of Angels and never of God in Daniel (Dan 4:13,23; 8:13)

Other times the theme is echoed:

John 1:49 Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel."

Matthew 27:37,42 And they put up above His head the charge against Him which read, "THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS." ... "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him.

Mark 15:32 "Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!" And those who were crucified with Him were casting the same insult at Him.

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Isaiah 44:6 "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.

Acts 4:12 echoes Zechariah 14:9

Zechariah 14:9

And the Jehovah will be king over all the earth; in that day the Jehovah will be the only one, and His name the only one.

I AM: The Only name, the unique one.

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Acts 4:12

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

We have a striking messianic statement in Zech 14:9 that in the age of the messiah, God's name (Jehovah) will be the only one. Then we come to the stunning passage of Acts 4:12 where the only name in the Messianic age is Jesus. Oh how Jehovah's Witnesses wish to God that he had used the Tetragrammaton (YHWH = Jehovah) just one time in the New Testament. But He didn't and Jesus is the only name proving he is Jehovah.

Jehovah is called the Only true God (John 17:3), the "Only Saviour" (Isa 43:11; 45:21; Hos 13:14; Jude 25), "Only King" (Zech 14:9). Yet Jesus is also called God in John 20:28, Saviour and King. Conversely, Jesus is called the "Only Teacher, (Matt 23:8,10, Mt 10:24 and Jn 13:13), "Only Master" (Jude 4, 2 Peter 2:1), and "Only Lord" (Jude 4, Eph 4:4, 1 Cor 8:4,6, Mt 6:24), yet the Father is also called our Teacher, Master and Lord.

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Isaiah 44:6 "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.

Isaiah 43:10-11 "You are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am. [Heb: 'ani hu' - 'ego eimi' in LXX] Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. "I, even I, am [ego eimi] the Lord; And there is no savior besides Me."

Isaiah 44:8 'Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.'"

Isaiah 45:5-7 "I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, 7 The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.

Isaiah 45:21 "Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.

Isaiah 46:9 "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,

Babylon blasphemously echoing the divine language of Jehovah: Isaiah 47:8,10 Jehovah speaking to Babylon: "Now, then, hear this, you sensual one, Who dwells securely, Who [Babylon speaking] says in your heart, 'I am, [Heb: 'ani' - 'ego eimi' in LXX] and there is no one besides me. I shall not sit as a widow, Nor shall I know loss of children.' 10 "And you felt secure in your wickedness and said, 'No one sees me,' Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; For you have said in your heart, 'I am, [Heb: 'ani' - 'ego eimi' in LXX] and there is no one besides me.'

John 8:18 echoes 1 Samuel 12:5

1 Samuel 12:5

And he said to them, "The Lord is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day that you have found nothing in my hand." And they said, "He is witness."

I AM: Witness

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John 8:18

"I am ['ego eimi'] He who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

Jesus, like Saul, was the anointed king of Israel who co-witnessed with God. What is interesting is that that in 1 Samuel, Jehovah is the primary witness and in John 8:18 Jesus is the primary witness.

In the LXX, Isa 43:10 has Jehovah as a witnesses. It may be that Jesus applies the I AM who witnessed along side of the servant to Himself. The connection although not strong, is worthy of notice.

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Isaiah 43:10 "You [Israel] are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. [Heb: 'ani hu' - 'ego eimi' in LXX]"

Mark 14:61-64 echoes Isaiah 19:1

Isaiah 19:1

"Behold, Jehovah is riding on a swift cloud, and is about to come to Egypt."

I AM: coming on clouds

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Mark 14:61-64

"Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" 62 And Jesus said, "I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." 63 And tearing his clothes, the high priest *said, "What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 "You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?"

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

There were three things that caused the high priest to charge blasphemy upon hearing Jesus' statement. First the use of "I AM". Second, the idea of sitting at the right hand of God. Third, the expression "coming with the clouds" was the familiar language of deity. Combined together, Jesus made a crystal clear claim of deity!

Other times Jesus echoed the theme:

Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Deuteronomy 33:26 "There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help, And through the skies in His majesty.

Psalm 104:3 He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind;

Psalm 68:33 To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice.

Psalm 18:9-10 He [Jehovah] bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped upon the wings of the wind.

John 6 echoes Exodus 16:12

Exodus 16:12

"At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread [manna]; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God."

I AM: divine supplier of manna/bread

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John 6:48-51,69

John 6:48 "I am the bread of life. 48 "I am the bread of life. 49 "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 "This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven" ... 69 "And we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God."

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

The whole theme in John 6 is parallel to Jehovah giving manna in Ex 16. Notice that Jehovah said that when you eat the manna THEN you shall know that I am God. Jesus taught his disciples that He was the true manna. In an amazing similarity that could only be by design, after Jesus finished feeding Himself to the crowd, as it were, the disciples also accepted Jesus as the manna proclaimed, "we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God."

Rev 22:16 echoes Isaiah 60:1-5

Isaiah 60:1-5

"Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2 "For behold, darkness will cover the earth, And deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you, And His glory will appear upon you. 3 "And nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 "Lift up your eyes round about, and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms. 5 "Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice"

I AM: Light, Morning Star

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Revelation 22:16

"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star."

Isaiah 51:4

"Pay attention to Me, O My people; And give ear to Me, O My nation; For a law will go forth from Me, And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.

I AM: Light

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John 8:12

John 8:12 Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am ['ego eimi'] the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life."

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

Astounding parallel of use of light between John 8:12 and Isa 51:4 as light of judgement: "As with bread in John 6, the Old Testament concept of light is the type which points ultimately to Jesus. Jesus fulfils the role which Israel was supposed to play, but he also exceeds it, for in Isaiah even the servant was blind (42:19). In John, Jesus has no such disability and therefore promises that, 'he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life' (8.12b). Just as in Isaiah, the role of being a light to the nations results in Israel's witness to Yahweh as the one true God (42.8; 43. 10), so for Jesus the role of being the light of the world also results in his role as witness (8.14, 18). In this, Isaiah 42, 43 further commends itself as the correct background for John 8, since it makes sense of the apparently sudden change from the theme of light to the theme of witness. It is in his role as witness that Jesus performs his role as light of the world. In the same way, the people of Israel perform their role as a light to the nations by their witness to Yahweh as the one true God. Furthermore, it is not only Jesus' 'I am' saying which points to a fulfilment of this passage from Isaiah. His actions also show that he fulfils the role of light to the nations. Israel's task as a light to the nations is to open the eyes of those who are blind (42.7). When Jesus repeats his claim to be the light of the world (9.5), it is in just such a context.' Jesus demonstrates his right to claim to be the light of the world by fulfilling the requirements of such a claim. Thus the healing of the blind man shows that Jesus has a right to claim to be the light of the world precisely because the sign fulfils the Old Testament expectations associated with such a claim. If Jesus takes the Isaianic phrase 'a light to the nations' from Isaiah 42.6 and applies it to himself by means of 'ego eimi', it is likely that there is also an allusion to the other passages in Deutero-Isaiah in which the same phrase is used. This is confirmed by the fact that in Isa. 49.6 Yahweh again speaks of the role of his servant as the bringer of light to the nations." (David Mark Ball, 'I Am' in John's Gospel, p 217)

Other times Jesus echoed the theme:

John 1:4-5 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 9:5 "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

Matthew 4:16 [quoting Isa 9:2] "The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, And to those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a light dawned."

Matthew 2:2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him."

Revelation 2:28 and I will give him the morning star.

Revelation 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star."

2 Peter 1:19 And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

1 John 1:5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Ephesians 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Isaiah 9:1-2 [Mt 4:6] "later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.

Isaiah 49:6 [Acts 13:47] He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

Isaiah 42:6-8 "I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon, And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.

Isaiah 51:4 For a law will go forth from Me, And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.

Isaiah 60:1-5 "Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2 "For behold, darkness will cover the earth, And deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you, And His glory will appear upon you. 3 "And nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 "Lift up your eyes round about, and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms. 5 "Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice"

Isaiah 60:19-20 "No longer will you have the sun for light by day, Nor for brightness will the moon give you light; But you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, And your God for your glory. 20 "Your sun will set no more, Neither will your moon wane; For you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, And the days of your mourning will be finished.

Isaiah 2:5 Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Numbers 24:17 "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, And a scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.

John 10:9-15 echoes Isaiah 40:11

Isaiah 40:11

"Like a shepherd He will tend His flock"

I AM: Shepherd

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John 10:9-15,27-30

"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. 11 "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 "He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them. 13 "He flees because he is a hireling, and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 "I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. ... 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 "I and the Father are one."

Comments about how the Isaiah theme is echoed by Jesus:

Although many creatures are called shepherds in the Bible, Joshua (Numbers 27:16), David (Ps 78:70-72), Jehovah is also called a shepherd in Isaiah 40:11. Ezek 34 is an identical parallel to John 10 in that both Jehovah and David are shepherds. Both passages have oneness: Ezek 34:23 = John 10:30. Jehovah and David are one shepherd in Ezek 34:23 and the Father and the Son are one shepherd in John 10:30. Jesus echoes Isaiah 40:11 by claiming to be a shepherd, like Jehovah.

Old Testament passages that establish the "I AM" theme

Ps 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Psalm 80:1 Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel, Thou who dost lead Joseph like a flock; Thou who art enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth!

Psalm 78:52 But He led forth His own people like sheep, And guided them in the wilderness like a flock

Ezek 24:11-12 "For thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. "As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day."

Ezek 24:23-24 "Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd. "And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

Zechariah 13:7 (Matthew 26:31) "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd [Christ], And against the man, My Associate," Declares the Lord of hosts. "Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones.

Micah 5:4 And He [Christ] will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth.

By Steve Rudd

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