Exodus 3:13-14 (NIV)
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
Moses found himself in an odd position. Having been born to a Hebrew slave, he was found in the river by Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted him. That meant that Moses spent his entire life facing an identity crisis. He never really knew who he was. While he grew up in the palace, he was quick to defend his Hebrew brothers and sisters. One day, he saw an Egyptian slave master beating a slave and he killed the man. Instead of thanking him, the Hebrews who saw the murder asked if he was going to kill them too. Moses ran into the wilderness where he hid for 40 years.
When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, he told Moses that He wanted him to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Moses knew he wasn’t the most respected person in Egypt, so he had questions. In fact, he had excuses. He knew that they would never listen to his authority, so he asked God who he could say sent him.
God’s response of “I AM WHO I AM” was the promise that God would be everything that Moses needed him to be. When Moses needed authority, God would provide it. When Moses needed water, God would provide it. When Moses needed food, God would send it. When Moses needed strength, God would strengthen him.
Today, those same two words provide us with everything that we could ever need. In the New Testament, Christ used the same terminology seven times when making promises to His people. Those two words have the power to change your life.
I AM The Bread of Life
John 6:35 (NIV)
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Christ’s declaration that He was the “Bread of Life” was about much more than being the sustaining force in our lives. He made this statement not long after He had fed the 5,000 with two pieces of bread and five fish. The crowd that came to Jesus that day came to Him because they wanted something.
Sadly, many people approach Him the same way today. They come to Christ when they want something. Instead, Christ says that He should be the “something” that we all want. We need food to live, and in this passage, Christ reminded His followers that He is the Source of Life.
I AM The Light of the World
John 8:12 (NIV)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
We all need guidance. Today, if you travel somewhere that you have never been before, you probably use the GPS system on your phone. As long as you stay on the illuminated path on the screen, you can rest assured that you’re going to reach your destination.
While life doesn’t come with a map, Christ declared that He would always be our guiding light. In a world that is riddled with darkness, we can rest in the fact that we’re following the Light of the World.
I AM The Door of the Sheep
John 10:7-9 (NIV)
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”
In ancient times, shepherds would keep their sheep in a large, walled-in structure. Oftentimes, these walls were made of rocks, and there was only one door to get in or out. This was not only to cut down on predators, but also to protect against theft. Jesus declared that He was the Door to the Sheepfold.
The only way that we can get into His flock, receiving the gift of salvation, is through Him. Additionally, He protects His flock against the attacks of the enemy.
I AM The Good Shepherd
John 10:11 (NIV)
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Christ elaborated on His promise to be the door to the sheepfold by establishing Himself as the Good Shepherd. Shepherding in the Bible was truly a way of life. When the angels appeared to the shepherds on the night of Christ’s birth, the men were living in the field. Their lives were dedicated to protecting and nurturing their flocks.
These shepherds would battle any sort of animal that came against their flocks. Remember, David told Saul that he had killed a lion and a bear that tried to attack His sheep. They knew they were risking their lives, but the sheep were worth it. Christ gave His life because He believed we were worth it, too.
I AM The Resurrection and the Life
John 11:25-26 (NIV)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
After Lazarus died, his sisters had given up hope. After all, he had been buried for four long, painstaking days. However, when Christ arrived, He told Martha that He was the resurrection and the life. What did that mean?
It meant that Christ was able to restore life to anything at any time. In that moment, Christ brought Lazarus back to life. For us, this promise not only means that He can resurrect our bodies on the day of His return, but it also means that He can bring new life to the things that we believe are beyond repair.
I AM The Way, The Truth, and The Life
John 14:6 (NIV)
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Jesus had just told the disciples that His time on earth was drawing to a close. He told them that He was going somewhere, and they would one day join Him. Obviously, they had questions. “How can we go with you if we don’t even know where you’re going?”
Jesus explained to them that He was the way. Our eternity in Heaven was sealed by His death and resurrection. He is the Truth in a world that constantly seeks truth and in Him is life.
I AM The True Vine
John 15:5 (NIV)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Finally, Christ referred to Himself as the Vine. Grape orchards were very common in the New Testament, and Christ spoke about something the people would understand. While the branches that stem from the vines would bear the grapes, the vine provided those branches with life.
As long as we stay connected to Christ, we will bear the fruits that He wants us to bear. Everybody wants to live a life that matters, and staying connected to Christ is our way of doing that.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for being I AM. Thank You for being everything that I have ever or will ever need in this life. In Christ’s name, Amen.