God said 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 3:13-14
"You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to Him (Jesus), "and you have seen Abraham!"
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I AM!"
-- John 8:57-58
In Jesus we have the richest, most vivid picture of God imaginable. God is not remote, displeased with the world He has made. Instead, through Jesus He bends toward us, sharing our weakness and shouldering our burdens. Through the perfect offering of His life He becomes our Way back to the Father. He is the True Vine in which we abide, bearing fruit for God's kingdom. He is the loving God who will never abandon us, but who will be present with us always, leading us to life eternal.
By using the name, I AM, the Lord may have been revealing Himself not only as the God who has always existed but also as the God who is always present with His people. Jesus used this name not only to identify Himself in answer to the religious leaders' questions but also to introduce a number of self-descriptions in the book of John:
I AM the bread of life (6:33)
I AM the light of the world (8:12)
Before Abraham was born, I AM (8:58)
I AM the gate for the sheep (10:7)
I AM the good shepherd (10:11)
I AM the resurrection and the life (11:25)
I AM the way and the truth and the life (14:6)
I AM the true vine, and my Father is the gardener (15:1)
By living and dying to save us, Jesus Himself has become the Promise we live by. He is the Word of Truth we stand on, the Bread that nourishes us, the Shepherd who leads us, the Light that drives all the darkness and fear away. He is the Savior for which we hope and the Messiah, our gateway to eternal life. He is all of these things and more - the Almighty, everlasting God, the One who is the great I AM!
Discuss: How have you experienced the I AM...God's faithful presence in your life?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the great promise-keeping God, the One who was, and is, and who is to come. You are the Resurrection and the Life, the True Vine, the Way, the great I AM. Help us, O Lord, to live in You, bearing fruit that will last through the power of Your Spirit both now and forever. It is in Your precious name that we pray this, Amen.
Songs: O Holy Night, Mary Did You Know
Devotions come from Praying the Names of Jesus by Ann Spangler