Two words we use very often are “I am.” These words are usually followed by other words describing our role in life or our position in our job or our family heritage. We say these things so that others will understand us better as they get to know more about us. There is an identification we make with our roles, jobs, or family when we add the words, “I am.” Sometimes we just say our name, “I am Laurie Denise” by way of introduction. Our name doesn’t really say too much about our character, which is one of the reasons we follow up the introduction with the other “I am” mentioned above. There is one who says, “I AM” is his name, his character, and all that he is. This one is God!
Our God is I AM which means he’s the self-existent one! He is the Great I AM! He is singular, existing without anyone or anything else. He lives; He remains; He continues. He came to Moses and introduced himself as I AM WHO I AM! God told Moses to go to the children of Israel and to tell them, “I AM has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14b) God gave himself this name. There will never be a time when he will need someone or something other than himself to exist. His name is forever.
“I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.” Isaiah 42:8
The word LORD is used as Yahweh, I AM, or the self-existent one. His glory is for him alone, not us. He is to receive all the glory, praise, and adoration we can give to him. There is no carved idol or idol of our heart that even comes close to being self-existent! All idols will fail but I AM will never fail, never change, and will fulfill all his promises and purposes. He is all sufficient for his children.
What about Jesus? He is God and his name is also I AM. John records a couple of times when Jesus says his name as I AM. The first is found in John 8:48-58. The Pharisees were accusing Jesus of having a demon. He spoke to them concerning those who keep his work, never seeing death. They were very upset by this and began to speak of their father, Abraham. Jesus ends this exchange with the following,
“Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was I AM!” John 8:58
Jesus honors the Father and seeks God’s glory, not his own. He keeps the Word of God and loves others well. He is not about himself but about others. Jesus declares that he is I AM, the self-existent one! He is the all sufficient Savior.
The second instance John records Jesus declaring to be I AM is in John 18:1-11. This is the account of the arrest of Jesus in the garden. He asked whom they were seeking and they said Jesus of Nazareth. He answered, “I am he.” (John 18:5b) John then gives us more information in the following verse,
“When Jesus said to them, I AM he, they drew back and fell to the ground.” John 18:6
When those who were going to arrest Jesus had come face to face with who he really was, KA-BOOM, they fell down. This is awe and reverence for who Jesus really is. This brings about humility in those who realize the truth which leads to a recognition of sin in the presence of the Great I AM! We, too, need to be in awe and reverence of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. He is all sufficient for every area of our lives.
God doesn’t need to follow his I AM with anything because he’s everything. We need to fall back and recognize who he really is and the benefits of knowing him as his child.
Let’s marvel together how the Great I AM chose to humble himself by becoming a man who died a gruesome death alone for us. There is none GREATER!
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10