Jesus Betrayed • Devotion #1: I Am

I have heard people say, “Jesus never said that He was God.” Unfortunately, when this is said, most people do not make them prove it or know how to challenge the statement. There are numerous verses to look at, but I want to start with just a few.

In John chapter 8, the Jews were debating with Jesus whether He was from the devil or God. In the discussion, Abraham was referenced. Jesus said to them, “‘Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.’ So the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am’” (John 8:56-58). Jesus was boldly saying that He existed before His birth. He had existed two thousand years earlier during the time of Abraham and that He had always existed. He was God. By saying, “I am,” He was referencing God’s conversation with Moses at the Burning Bush. Moses was nervous about going to the people on God’s behalf, so he asked God who he should reference when the Jews questioned him. In Exodus 3:14, we read, “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.’’” In case you do not see the connection, I want to go back to John chapter 8 and show the response of the Jews to Jesus saying, “I am.” Verse 59 reads, “So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.” The Jews knew Jesus was saying He is God. They were so convinced of what He was saying that they tried to kill Him for saying it.

This statement is also referenced hours before the crucifixion. In John 18:2-6, we read the story, “Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, ‘Whom do you seek?’ They answered him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am he.’ Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” This army of men came looking for Jesus. Jesus acknowledged who He was by saying, “I am he.” In Greek, the word “he” is not used. The literal Greek translation is “I am.” Not only did Jesus say He was God, He decided to give them a taste of His power. I would have loved to see the dominoes fall. I wonder how confident they were in arresting Him after that happened.

Jesus was God, is God, and forever will be God. He is infinite and eternal. He knew it and proclaimed it. He also knew His mission. He had the power to stop the process at any time but chose to go to the cross for us.

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