Scriptures

‘I AM’ The Way

Introduction

Jesus Christ! The great ‘I AM’ The significance of ‘I AM’

‘Then Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your Fathers has sent me to you’ and they ask me, ‘what is his name?’ ‘What shall I say to them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’. And he said, ‘Say to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ Exodus 3:13-14.

‘I AM EHYEH’ first singular present of TO BE. HAYAH denotes that God is personal, eternal, self-existent i.e. absolute being.

1. Eternal. Psalm 135:13

2. Self-existent. Psalm 88:6-7

Then God, having revealed to Moses some essential aspects of His (God’s) personality informs Moses of the name by which He (God) wants to be known. God also said to Moses, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, ‘YHWH the God of your fathers, has sent me to you, this is my name for ever and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.’ Exodus 3:75 / Psalm 135:13

YAHWEH plural form

Genesis 1:26, ‘Then God said, ‘Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness’.

The plural in the name YHWH, us and our, can in my opinion be regarded as an indication of the plurality of God’s nature and character, of which the Son and the Holy Spirit are part; three distinct persons who can act individually though never in disharmony and who are united in the godhead as one God. That the Spirit i.e. the force of God was there at creation is clear, ‘and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters’. Genesis 1:2

That through Jesus all came into being is stated in John 1:1-3 and John 1:18. It was through Jesus, i.e. God Himself Incarnate that redemption would be wrought.

The name YHWH meaning ‘the Becoming One’ is the ‘redemptive’ name of God and refers to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ who is in the bosom of the ‘Father’ God; Jesus who is part of the Godhead. When Jesus made Himself equal with God He was merely speaking the truth and had indeed every right to utter the words, ‘I AM’ in such a special way. The Jews understood perfectly well what was alluded to by the term I AM used by Jesus.

‘This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.’ John 5:18 / Leviticus 24:16

Now remember the Bible doesn’t use names for God in the same way as we use names today. God doesn’t have a name as such but He uses certain words to describe His character or nature.

For example, the word El-Shaddai describes His nature as the all sufficient one, the all-powerful One. The word Adonia describes His character as Lord, Master, the One with all authority. The word Yahweh describes His nature as the everlasting, self-existing One.

And so when God speaks to Moses, He is not giving Moses a name as we understand it. But He’s telling Moses to tell His people that Yahweh, ‘I AM THAT I AM’, the self-existing One has sent you. God is basically saying to Moses I don’t need a name but I will give you one to tell my people.

Now remember the Israelites have been in captivity in Egypt for 400 years and so God goes on to say in Exodus 3:15 just in case my people have forgotten who ‘I AM’, tell them ‘The LORD, (The One with all authority), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.’

Now let’s fast forward a couple of thousand years. We know that the Gospel according to Matthew focuses a lot on prophecy where Matthew points out time and time again that Jesus is the promised Messiah. The Gospel according to Mark focuses a lot on Jesus’ miracles and Mark uses the word ‘immediately’ regularly.

The Gospel according to Luke focuses a lot on Jesus’ humanity and shows Jesus as being the Son of man. And finally, the Gospel according to John focuses a lot on Jesus being the Son of God which shows the Deity of Christ.

But have you ever wondered why all the ‘I AM’ claims of Jesus are found in John’s Gospel?

John writes in John 20:30-31 ‘Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name’.

Now John never uses the word miracle in his gospel but he does use the word sign regularly. And there are 16 signs recorded in John’s gospel, 8 are things which Jesus did and 8 were things which Jesus said.

John is basically saying that the ‘I AM’ claims of Jesus are signs, selected from many other signs. And he says these signs are selected with a purpose in mind and that purpose is that you believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be.

And so just as `I AM’ is God’s own identification of Himself in Exodus 3:14 to Moses. Remembering that strictly speaking, it is not a name, but a declaration of His Nature. When we come to the ‘I AM’ claims of Jesus, we need to remember that Jesus was not giving Himself a Name or a title, but was asserting His Deity. In other words every ‘I AM’ reveals some aspect of His nature and purpose.

‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’

Jesus never went outside of scripture for an illustration, Isaiah 35 talks about the kingdom, the WAY of holiness. Hebrews talks about boldness and a new and living way, Hebrews 10:19-20, the word for way is ‘hodos’ which means the road. The High priest would take the blood and the blood was spilled on the way to the Holy of Holies, sprinkled blood on way, blood stained way.

Jesus says He is the way, He’s not showing the way because He is the way. 3 times on same day the high priest would sacrifice,

1. For his own sins,

2. For the sins of the priesthood and

3. For the sins of the people. Jesus’ blood has created the way, Hebrews 6:19.

Matthew 26:1ff tells us it was at Passover that Jesus wanted to die for them. Jesus wanted to let it happen in Passover. Jesus died on a day when a one-off event took place, Passover, the Day of Atonement was once a year, Jesus didn’t die on this day. The veil was Jesus’ flesh, the veil was torn when He died. A careful reading of the Book of Acts tells us that the early church was called the way, they were in ‘the way’.

The blood-stained way into the very presence of God.

Two of the most remarkable statements by Jesus are found in one verse.

‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’ ‘No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ John 14:6

These statements were made in a discussion with His disciples. As He prepared them for His impending death, John 14:1-4 which prompted questions by Thomas and Philip, John 14:5+7-9.

In making such statements, Jesus claims to be three things, ‘The Way, The Truth, And the Life.’

Let’s take a closer look, where we first observe that Jesus is. Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus clearly claims to the be only way to God, John 14:6. As Peter would later proclaim, there is no salvation but through Him, Acts 4:12. This may sound politically incorrect, but Jesus states it nonetheless.

How Jesus is the way to the father

By revealing Him, stressed in the gospel of John, John 14:7-9 / John 1:18 / John 12:44-45. By opening the way to Him, emphasised in the book of Hebrews, Hebrews 10:19-20. By serving as our high priest, another theme in Hebrews, Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 10:21-22. He now intercedes for us as our Advocate, 1 John 2:1.

At the right hand of God, Romans 8:34. The one (and only) Mediator between God and man, 1 Titus 2:5. Whoever lives to intercede for us! Hebrews 7:24-25. By virtue of His life on earth, His death on the cross, and now His service in heaven, Jesus is truly the only way to God! Isaiah 35:8-9.

Christ is the ‘way’, the ‘means’, the Person by whom we can come to a knowledge of God, John 1:18. How wonderful, to know that all man has to do to know the Father is to look to Jesus.

‘He who has seen me has seen the Father.’ John 14:9

Via Jesus the Father has fellowship with us and we with the Father, Romans 5:12 / Matthew 11:27-28.

How awful would be our situation without Jesus our Mediator! There would be an abyss so wide and deep and dark between God and mankind that man could never make any contact with God and thus man would be lost forever.

It is difficult to come to God via Jesus?

No, definitely not! Since, once we accept Jesus in our lives, he will protect us, Isaiah 27:3. Jesus teaches us the way, by speaking the truth, Luke 20:21. By showing us the way, Matthew 16:24 / 1 Peter 2:21.

All we have to do is follow Jesus, knowing that we shall never be tempted beyond our strength, 1 Corinthians 10:13 and that if we submit to God and resist the devil, the later will flee from us, Isaiah 4:7.

It is via Jesus that we come into the sanctuary, the presence of God to whom Jesus is the living way, Hebrews 20:19-20.

I cannot help feeling that when Jesus said ‘I am the way’ he puts the emphasis on ‘I’ indicating he is the only way as indeed he is, Acts 4:12.

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

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