John 8 - “I AM” Jesus’ clearest declaration of being God.
There are many things that Jesus has revealed about Himself that are recorded by John in chapter eight. The important thing that we have to remember is that we have to take the whole of scripture together and we can’t just pick and chose what we want to believe. If we do then we are creating God in our image, which will be no god at all. Here is a basic outline of John chapter eight.
Jesus forgives the woman caught in adultery instructing her to go and sin no more. (1-11)
Jesus declares to be the light of life, giving life to everyone that will believe. Telling the Jewish leaders that they will die in their sins if they do not believe that He is the Messiah that will be lifted up telling of His coming crucifixion. (12-29)
Jesus shows us that the mark of true believer is the one that has been set free by continuing in His word, but those that reject will remain slaves of sin. (30-47)
Eternal life for the ones that remain in Christ and death to all that do not. Jesus declares Himself to be God. (48-59)
The overall theme of John eight is that Jesus is God and all that come to Him in faith will be set free from the slavery of sin and have eternal life. Those that reject Jesus reject God and will remain a slave leading to eternal death if they fail to repent.
From the very beginning of the book of John, he has been showing us that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of the world. As the narrative progresses through the chapters it is getting clearer and clearer that Jesus is truly the Son of God, The Messiah. Here is the clearest saying of Jesus “I AM.” This is the same thing that God said to Moses when God sent Moses to lead the people out of Egypt. God to him to tell the people that “I AM WHO I AM” sent you.
“God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:14 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/exo.3.14.hcsb )
“Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.”
John 8:58 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/jhn.8.58.hcsb )
There are two things from this verse that makes it clear that Jesus is claiming to be God and a third comes from verse 59.
Jesus is saying that He existed before Abraham. If Jesus stopped there then it could lead to some believing the false teaching that Jesus was created, but He didn’t stop there.
Jesus said, “I AM.” A clear declaration that Jesus is God. That Jesus is eternal and that it is only through Jesus that one can attain life.
There is one more thing that makes it clear that Jesus was declaring that He is God by what happened after Jesus said this. The Jews picked up stones to stone Him. Why would they do this? Because it was clear to them that Jesus is saying I AM GOD!
Jesus is standing before you today and saying “I AM.” I don’t condemn you, but through love and grace, I forgive you. Now go and sin no more. Many want to stop at the part that Jesus says I don’t condemn you and then they are free to live how they want. The problem is that Jesus made it clear in this conversation of chapter eight that the one who is set free from the slavery of sin is the one that remains in His teachings. Jesus loves you and wants to set you free, but it will not happen if you desire to remain in your sinfulness. May God bless you with understanding and faith to walk the rest of your days with God.
Questions for reflection.
One of the things that stands out in the gospels is that it was the religious leaders that rejected Jesus the most. How can we make sure as believers that we do not become self-righteous and fall out of the path of Christ?
According to John chapter 8, can one have salvation if they accept Jesus’ love but reject His complete teachings?