Bible Reading: John 4:31-47
In the Old Testament God revealed Himself to Moses using the name I AM.
“And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” [Exodus 3:14]. God identifies Himself, as I AM WHO I AM. Revealing His divine Name declares His character and His attributes. This name is related to the Hebrew verb meaning, “to be,” and so implies the absolute existence of God. The Hebrew here is also the source of the English, “Yahweh,” “Jehovah,” or “Lord” [see Exodus 3:15]. He is not “I was” or “I will be” but the eternal I AM. He is forever God, forever the same and never changes.
John is concerned to emphasize the deity of Jesus Christ and so records the seven I AM sayings of Jesus. Can you imagine the impact upon Jesus’ hearers when He calls himself I AM seven times? “I AM the Bread of Life [John 6:35]; I AM the Light of the World [John 8:12]; “Before Abraham was I AM” [John 8:58]; I AM the Good Shepherd [John 10:11]; I AM the resurrection and the life [11:25]; I AM The way, the truth and the life [John 14:6]; I Am the true vine [John 15:1]. Jesus is God!
In his Gospel John produces seven testimonies to the deity of Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist said, “This is the Son of God [1:34]. Nathanael said of Jesus, “You are the Son of God” [1:49]. Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” [6:69]. Martha said, “You are the Christ, the Son of God” [11:27]. Thomas said, “My Lord and my God” [20:28]. John testified, “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” [20:31] and Christ Himself said, “I am the Son of God” [10:36].
Did you notice the repetition of the number seven in John’s Gospel? Seven was the number of perfection. Not only are there seven I AM sayings, and seven distinct testimonies to the deity of Jesus in John’s Gospel, but also there are also seven miracles, known as signs. These are turning water into wine [2:1-11]; healing the nobleman’s son [4:46-54]; Healing the infirm man at Bethesda [5:1-15]; Feeding the five thousand [6:1-14]; Walking on the water [6:15-21]; Healing the blind man [9:41] and raising Lazarus from the dead [11:1-57].
There are three other key areas of teaching in John’s Gospel that are unique to John. He gives the teaching of Jesus on the person and work of the Holy Spirit [John 14:15-18,25-26; 16:5-15]. More than the other Gospels John writes about the relationship between Jesus and His Father. John refers to “the Father” more than 100 times. It is only John who writes about the importance of abiding in Christ for believers [15:1-17].
Tomorrow, we will begin the exciting journey through John’s Gospel.
Did you memorize yesterday’s key verse? What has specifically impacted you or come to your attention for the first time in this panoramic view of John’s Gospel? What do you find powerful in God’s name I AM?