Girls, try saying the following phrase aloud and fill in the blank with a word or phrase you would use to describe yourself.
I am ___________.
Each of us can fill in that blank with many different descriptions. I could say: I am a writer and youth pastor; I am a brown-haired woman; I am married; or I am in my living room. When we begin a sentence with “I am,” it’s usually because we’re describing something about ourselves–our appearance, location, job or action.
In John chapter 8, Jesus also uses the words “I am,” but when He uses these words, it’s an entirely different kind of description.
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 born, I am’ (John 8:57-58).
Jesus talks about Abraham in the past tense, “before Abraham was born,” but He talks about Himself in the present tense, “I am.” Jesus uses the phrase “I am” to describe Himself as one who existed before Abraham, in addition to existing in the present time. When Jesus describes Himself as “I am,” He’s saying that He exists in the present–whether the present is 2000 B.C., 30 A.D., 1584 A.D., or 2013 A.D.
Jesus existed before the creation of the world, He exists now and He will exist tomorrow. When Jesus describes Himself, He isn’t just describing a job, location or appearance; He is describing His whole self. I don’t think I could describe my whole self in just two words, but Jesus can and does.
Take some time today to think about how you would describe yourself to someone who didn’t know you, and then think about what it means that Jesus can describe Himself completely using two little words:“I am.”
Girls, how would you describe yourselves? Can you think of any other ways that Jesus describes Himself?
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).