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Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Great I Am Passages

Those of you who read and study Scripture know about the great "I Am" passages in the New Testament which riled the feathers of the Sanhedrin. There are eight, a number of completion after the holy number of seven, of these in John's Gospel and today we see Christ claiming, rightly, to be God. Here these verses are for your reference:

John 6: 35, 48 I am the bread of life John 8: 12, 9:5 I am the light of the world John 8: 58 Before Abraham was, I am John 10:9 I am the door John 10:11 I am the good shepherd John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life John 15:1 I am the true vine 

Today, Christ tells us unequivocally, that He is God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of God. Those religions which deny that Christ is God, do not accept this passage, obviously.

Christ is either a liar, or a madman or really God, states C. S. Lewis, and I paraphrase.

We are faced with a choice today. Do we really believe in Christ as God, and take all His actions and words seriously, or, like some of the Jews of His day, reject the "I Am" statements?

The Jews wanted to kill Christ as they knew He was referring to the great epiphany to Moses--I Am.

Those who wanted to stone Christ for blasphemy were closed to the great I AM.

Exodus 3 Douay-Rheims 

Now Moses fed the sheep of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Madian: and he drove the flock to the inner parts of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, Horeb.
And the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he saw that the bush was on fire and was not burnt.
And Moses said: I will go and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
And when the Lord saw that he went forward to see, he called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said: Moses, Moses. And he answered: Here I am.
And he said: Come not nigh hither, put off the shoes from thy feet: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
And he said: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face: for he durst not look at God.
And the Lord said to him: I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of the rigour of them that are over the works:
And knowing their sorrow, I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land into a good and spacious land, into a land that floweth with milk and honey, to the places of the Chanaanite, and Hethite, and Amorrhite, and Pherezite, and Hevite, and Jebusite.
For the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have seen their affliction, wherewith they are oppressed by the Egyptians.
10 But come, and I will send thee to Pharao, that thou mayst bring forth my people, the children of Israel out of Egypt.
11 And Moses said to God: Who am I that I should go to Pharao, and should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
12 And he said to him: I will be with thee: and this thou shalt have for a sign, that I have sent thee: When thou shalt have brought my people out of Egypt, thou shalt offer sacrifice to God upon this mountain.
13 Moses said to God: Lo, I shall go to the children of Israel, and say to them: The God of your fathers hath sent me to you. If they should say to me: What is his name? what shall I say to them?
14 God said to Moses: I AM WHO AM. He said: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS, hath sent me to you.
15 And God said again to Moses: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me to you: This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
Christ reveals Himself as the Everlasting God, pointing to the Trinity, and referring back to the freeing of the Hebrews from slavery. Christ is getting His listeners ready for the real freedom from the slavery of satan, the rule of Original Sin, the life of sin, and everlasting death.
But, these people were not open to hearing these words of truth from The Word of God. A long time ago, a rabbi told me in London, that the Jewish unspoken word for the Name of God means this, "I Am Who Am and shut up and stop asking me."
The point is that God gives us absolute knowledge of Him through the Revelation of the Old Testament and for us Christians, the New Testament. We have been told Who Christ Is.

We accept Christ as our Lord, Saviour, King, or we reject Him.

John 8:51-59Douay-Rheims 

51 Amen, amen I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever.
52 The Jews therefore said: Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest: If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever.
53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself?
54 Jesus answered: If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that he is your God.
55 And you have not known him, but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him, and do keep his word.
56 Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad.
57 The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.
59 They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.