Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”[a] 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple”. (John 8:56-59)
Have you been up any late nights lately, I mean really late? If you have, then perhaps you have seen some of those infomercials. You know the ones I am talking about. Those silly commercials that sell those crazy products that seem to solve every problem you can imagine. The air fryer that cooks it all, the power washer that can wash houses, cars and even clean your teeth. Can any of those products really do all they claim to do?
A claim by anything or anyone for total satisfaction is quite normal these days but also quite unbelievable. So imagine some 2,000 years ago when Jesus began to teach all of these “I AM” statements that seemed to point to some truth of fulfillment, total satisfaction, completeness that can be known in Him and Him alone. You can see in the above conversation between Jesus and the religious crowd that they thought He was crazy and blaspheming.
If we honestly take a look at the various “I AM” statements in the Gospel of John spoken by Jesus, they each seem almost unbelievable. How can He claim in John 6:35-40 that if we eat of Him, come to Him, believe in Him that we will never be hungry again? Can Jesus really satisfy us completely? Jesus says in Him we will never be hungry or never thirst. He claims that in Him there is total fulfillment, total nourishment, total life.
How about a light that will never go out? Doesn’t that sound like a late night infomercial? How about a chance to never walk in darkness again? That claim alone sounds impossible for any of us in this dark and hurting world. But, Jesus again says with great authority and power, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness” (John 8:12).
So, in our above passage from John 8:56-59, Jesus has just finished saying the He is the light of the world in John 8:12. He then moves into some further teaching about God the Father being His Father and how He, as the Son of Man, is technically greater than even Abraham. That claim alone to be greater than Abraham would get anyone in trouble, but finally Jesus goes all in when He claims He is the I AM of Exodus 3. In this statement, Jesus makes the claim that in Him is total life, that He is God in the flesh right there, right now. After He says it, they pick up stones to kill Him for claiming to be God.
But what about you and me? What about our reality? What about daily struggles with hunger in the soul, light in the darkness, hearing other shepherd’s voices?
Jesus claims to be a never-ending bread that will end our life hunger. Do you know this deep satisfaction in Him during this pandemic? His claim is real and is for you.
Jesus claims to be the Alpha and Omega, the God who is all powerful, all knowing, all caring, all in all for what we need in life.
Can Jesus really meet all these needs we have? Can He really be all that He says He is? Come to Him, believe in Him and find out for yourself.