I Am the I Am – Gospel in Life

I Am the I Am

Tim Keller |  December 20, 1998

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  • Understanding the Gospel
  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
John 8:31-36; 51-59
RS 96-6

John 8:31–36, 51–59

In this passage, Jesus talks with his Jewish followers about how sin can trap people. He tells them that the Son, meaning He Himself, can set them free. When they question Jesus and compare him to Abraham, Jesus confidently says that he knows and obeys God’s word. He even says that Abraham was happy to see his day. But when Jesus says, “Before Abraham was born, I am,” the Jews get angry. This leads to a deep look into who Jesus says he is, who the listeners thought he was, and who we think he is.

1. Who does he think he is?

Jesus tells people that he can set them free. He challenges the idea that being religious or moral means you’re spiritually free. He says real happiness and freedom come from a real relationship with God, something only he can give. When he claims to be God by using the words from Exodus 3, his listeners are shocked and think it’s blasphemy. But, this claim actually shows a very high and amazing view of God.

2. Who did they think he was in response to that?

Jesus pushes people to figure out who he really is. He gives them a tough choice: they can think he’s crazy, a liar, or truly God. He encourages them to make a clear choice, without any doubt or half-hearted belief. The cross is the ultimate test of who he is. It either shows cruelty or self-sacrifice.

3. Who do you think he is?

This passage makes it clear that you can’t be neutral about faith or skepticism. If you doubt Christianity, you’re actually missing the point. Jesus’ teachings, full of wisdom and goodness, are different from self-focused teachers. They show how much he influenced his followers. You have to accept Jesus as God, let him be in charge of your life, and allow him to guide you. This is a key part of understanding joy, receiving spiritually, and the Apostles’ Creed. This message is especially important for Father’s Day, too.



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