Before Abraham Was, I AM

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:56-58

Who is Jesus? This is a good and important question that leads to a good and important study that never grows old. As children of God, we can and always should desire to know Jesus more, to grow in our knowledge of His person, attributes, character, beauty, work, promises, etc. By God’s grace as His Spirit illumines our understanding, such study deepens our love, adoration, and reverence of Him. Such study grows us in our relationship with Him. Today, we consider the awesome truth that Jesus is the great I AM (v. 58). As we consider this, our thoughts should be hearkened back to Exodus 3:14, where God declared to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” What is Jesus teaching us when He says He is I AM?

Christ isn’t merely a prophet. He isn’t just a good teacher, as some claimed. He is God. Jesus is the Son of God, who our Confession rightly states is “the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father…” (Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 8.2, Of Christ the Mediator, John 1:14, Philippians 2:6) In Jesus’ own testimony of Himself John 8:58, Jesus is specifically referring to Himself has having aseity, being the self-existent God. He was before Abraham was, even from all eternity (John 1:1).

Now the Jews were surprised at His reply that Abraham rejoiced to see Christ’s day (v. 56). How could this be? Abraham had much joy in the promises of God, especially in the promise and looking to the mercy of God in the coming of the Messiah to save His people (Genesis 22:8,14; Galatians 3:8,16). He welcomed the day with the joy of faith. Therefore, by contrast, we see the dark blindness of the ingratitude of those who despise and reject Christ, though He be plainly offered to them.

In being I AM, the self-existent God, Christ teaches us that God depends on no one and nothing for His existence. He has the power of being in and of Himself. From everlasting to everlasting, He is God (Psalm 90:2). No one made Him or caused Him to be. He alone exists by His own power. He shares this quality with no one. People are not self-existent- only God is. As we consider the aseity of our God, how will we respond? In worship and awe!

May we all be filled with such awe today and every day. May we all bow the knee to Christ and worship Him with our whole hearts. Indeed, may Jesus Christ be praised! Amen and Amen.