“I Am” was the name that God used to identify Himself as Yahweh in the Old Testament and it speaks of His eternal personal nature and His self-sufficiency. God is sufficient within Himself. He does not have to go outside of Himself for anything because He is self-existent and unchangeable. When God revealed Himself to Moses as “I Am,” this was actually pointing to the identification of Jesus. Jesus says in John 8:58 that, “before Abraham was born, I am.” In this statement, Jesus equates Himself with God.
He goes on to share in the book of John the various areas in which He is the “I Am.” He is the bread of life (John 6:35), the provision and provider of eternal and abundant life. He is the light of the world (John 8:12), bringing light to a dark world because His presence deals with the issue of sin. Jesus is the door (John 10:9), the entrance into the Kingdom of God. As the good shepherd (John 10:11, 14), Jesus leads His people and cares for His flock. Jesus is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25), in that because of Jesus Christ man does not have to die and be separated from God for eternity. Because Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), He is the means by which we come into relationship with God, and He is the final definer of what reality really is. In John 15:1 and 15:5, we see that Jesus is the true vine and provides sustenance and joy as we abide in Him. These descriptions of Jesus illustrate both His self-sufficiency and the overwhelming blessing the believer receives through a relationship with the Savior.
Jesus is also our divine protector. Jesus, the great “I Am,” provided protection for Moses when He sent him before Pharaoh in His name. He told Moses to tell Pharaoh that he came in the name of the great I Am (Exod 3:13-15). Another example of Jesus as protector is when the Roman guards tried to arrest Jesus in the garden and were unable to do so: when He identified Himself they immediately fell back (John 18:6). Jesus is also our provider. Because of Jesus’ self-sufficiency and all power, as the “I Am,” He is able to be anything you need Him to be. Jesus the “I Am” is also our divine pleasure. In John 8:56, Jesus said, “Abraham saw my day and was glad.” Even in the Old Testament, when Abraham focused on Jesus Christ, the thought of coming redemption brought joy. In the same way, as we look toward Christ and all that His presence means, we can find joy in the midst of whatever challenge we face (John 8:56). When we view Jesus correctly, this gives us a bigger view of God and a more relevant understanding of Jesus. This leads us to rest in the sufficiency of Christ as we look to Him as our source for any category of need.
- As you reviewed the many meanings of Jesus as the great I Am, which one of those characteristics is most meaningful to you and why?
- What does the word “sufficiency” mean? As you discuss the meaning of this word with your group, how should the sufficiency of Christ impact the life of every believer?
Let’s Get Personal
- As you look back over your walk with the Lord, in what ways has Jesus shown himself to be “I Am” to you?
- As we come to better understand the deity of Christ, we will increase our understanding and desire to look to Him as our divine Savior and His complete sufficiency to meet our needs. This means that if we aren’t looking to Him first to meet our needs, we might not view Him correctly as the focal point of our sufficiency. What do your prayer habits say about your view of Christ?
- Jesus is self-sufficient and has everything that we need, but in order to fully appreciate His sufficiency at work in our lives, we must get to know Him. How are you regularly pursing intimacy with the great I Am?
Take the Next Step
- Are there currently circumstances in your life where you need Jesus to be “I Am”? Take some time to share the characteristic of Jesus that you want to see most in your life right now and take time to pray about those situations with your group.
- Want to go deeper? Take a look at the following passages: Gen 22:1-5; Exod 3:13-15; Ps 9:10; Mark 14:60-64; John 18:4-9; Heb 13:8; James 1:17
Renew Your Mind
“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’” – John 8:58