God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:14
What a very confusing and odd declaration from God. When “the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush” Moses was certainly more confused than any of us today. Once God chose Moses to go before Pharaoh to demand the release of His people, Moses asked God about His name. God’s answer: “I Am who I Am.”
The Hebrew word for “I Am” is ehyeh and it’s the first person singular form of the verb to be. It is used in very basic instances such as “I am a baseball player” or “I am going to the movies.” The subject “I” along with the verb “to be” is contingent on the rest of the predicate.
However, how God uses it to describe Himself is quite different. There is nothing required after ehyeh. It stands alone. It’s a statement of total independence and self-sufficiency. God is essentially telling Moses that His existence is not dependant on anything or anyone. God just… is. No questions asked. As finite creatures that have no history before they were created, this can be a tough concept to grasp.
One of the most telling indications that Jesus saw Himself as equal with the God of the Old Testament was through His use of the “I Am” statement. As Christians, we know that Jesus is God in the flesh. He is fully human and fully divine at the same time. Jesus echoing God’s proclamation made to Moses revealed who He truly was.
Jesus used 7 “I Am” statements in John’s Gospel in order to manifest his identity. Below are the 7 statements:
God is able to identify as any and everything we need. Most adults are self-sufficient, but that just means we can provide for our needs. However, we still need things. God does not.
Putting our lives into the hands of someone that needs nothing, yet wants to offer us everything is what we were created for—a personal relationship with the Almighty. Take time to reflect on this awesome reality.