Specific Text - John 18:1-18
We've seen how John uses simple words to make profound statements. The Gospel opens with "In the beginning was the Word..." In the 13th chapter, when Judas went to betray Jesus, John described this low point in human history by simply writing, "And it was night." One aspect of John's gospel we didn't explore this time around (there's always next year!) are the I AM statements Jesus made throughout His ministry.
These claims were noticed by the Jews because of the striking similarity they bear to the most holy name that God gave Himself way back in Exodus when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. Actually, the presence in the bush was first described as the Angel of the LORD, who for good reasons we think was Jesus, and then later described as God (Exodus 3:2-6). There, God gave His name to Moses, and to this day our Bibles print these words in all capital letters to signify their holiness: I AM who I AM.
Jesus used these words to describe Himself, much to the chagrin of the Pharisees who knew exactly what He meant when He referred to Himself this way. Now, assisted by Judas they've come in the black of night to arrest Jesus. As they come into the garden, Jesus asks them who it is they are looking for. "Jesus of Nazareth," they reply. Jesus answered with these two awesome words in v5:
Ἐγώ εἰμι (Ego Eimi - greek) = אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה (Yahweh - hebrew) = I AM
Boom. Once again, Jesus drops the mic. Upon hearing this, this motley crew of Jews dropped to the ground (v6). Even though they didn't want to admit it, and probably didn't even realize what they were doing, they knew they were standing on holy ground and their bodies responded accordingly.
Jesus' tragic capture leads to Peter's pathetic denials, unfortunately using the same words. Three times in this chapter, Peter is asked if he's Jesus' disciple. I am... Peter is so close to glory here, but then he torpedoes it with the ugly word NOT (v17).
As you read this today, understand that Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be. Jesus is God. How will you respond when you are asked if you are His follower?
Prayer For The Day - Dear Father God, You are the same yesterday, today and forever. You are the same as when you walked with Adam in the Garden, spoke to Moses from the bush, and humbly were taken captive using your most holy name. Increase my faith and confidence in you, that when others ask me if I know and follow you, I might answer with these two powerful words: I am. In Jesus holy name I pray, Amen,