Advent Devotionals: Day 11

The Great “I AM”

John 8:58 - “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’” (NASB)

During the holidays our home is filled with various nativity scenes. They help me reflect on that moment in human history when Jesus Christ took on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14.) However, there are some pictorial depictions of Jesus Christ in the Gospels that also get my attention during this Advent Season. Here in John’s Gospel, we see a portrait of Christ before the foundation of the world, living in eternity with His Heavenly Father—much “before Abraham was born.”  

Notice that He doesn’t say “Before Abraham was born, I was.” Jesus was not having a grammar problem; He was saying exactly what He meant—and the Jews knew exactly what He meant. He was declaring Himself to be the Eternal God who revealed Himself to Moses (cf. Exodus 3:13–14). Thus, they picked up stones to stone Him (John 8:59).  

The name “I AM” is the personal name of God Himself. It literally means “I am that I am” and speaks of the fact that God always was and always will be.  He is the Ever-Existent One. Even more specifically, the name refers not just to God’s eternal existence but His all-encompassing provision in our lives.

“I AM” may seem like an incomplete sentence. In fact, it is the shortest yet totally complete sentence in the English language. It causes us to ask, “I AM…what?” The answer is deeply profound as Jesus answers: “I AM the Christ...the Ever-Existent One. All your past, present, and future days are in My view. I do not just supply your needs; I AM everything you need. I am the Great ‘I AM.’” Now, that’s a portrait of Christ that should be indelibly imprinted in our minds.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Great “I AM” and worthy of my praise and worship.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
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