Exodus 3:13-14 (English-NIV),
13 says the following: 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, `What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.'”
In John 18:5-6 (English-NIV) Jesus says the following:
5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)
6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
However we already know from Psalm 2:7 that Yahweh is the Father of Jesus. Jesus is the Son of Yahweh. Jesus is not Yahweh and the Son is not the Father. Therefore, Jesus (the Son of Yahweh) cannot be the I AM (Yahweh).
In context we read in John 18 that the Jews came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Jews took him to Annas first (vs.13). Then they took him to Caiaphas (vs.24) and eventually to Pilate (vss.28,29). A parallel account is found in Matthew 26:57-68. Notice, in particular, verse 59. The same men that had fallen backward to the ground were in attendance when the council sought false witnesses against Jesus to put him to death. Verse 60 says they couldn’t find any. Eventually two came forward. Interestingly, they didn’t bear false witness about what Jesus said in John.8:58, but about his reference to destroying the temple and building it again in three days, then Jesus was condemned for claiming to be the Son of God in Matthew 26:63-65.
Matthew 26 is, why would false witnesses be sought if they had true witnesses in attendance? The arresting officers heard Jesus say “Ego eimi.” They could have stoned him right there in the garden for blasphemy, but they didn’t. They could have reported the supposed blasphemy to the council, but they didn’t. Why not? Because it wasn’t blasphemy, nor was it a stoneable offense. He was merely identifying himself as Jesus of Nazareth.
It is believed by some that the account recorded in John 8:48-59 further supports the position that Jesus is the “I AM.” Why else would the Jews try to stone him (v59)? He obviously blasphemed in the eyes of the Jews.
“I am” is a translation from Greek words “ego eimi”. Is the mere utterance of “ego eimi” a blasphemy? Does the use of “ego eimi” automatically identify the speaker as Yahweh, the I AM? In Luke 1:19, the angel Gabriel said, “Ego eimi Gabriel.” In John 9:9, the blind man whose sight was restored by Jesus said, “Ego eimi.” In Acts 10:21, Peter said, “Behold, ego eimi (I am) he whom ye seek.” Obviously, the mere use of “ego eimi” does not equate one to the “I Am” of Exodus 3:14.
Jesus used the phrase “ego eimi” at least twenty times and yet, in only one instance did the Jews seek to stone him (John 8:58). Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” to a large crowd, in John.6:35-48, yet no one opposed him. In verse 41, the Jews murmured because he said, “I am (ego eimi) the bread which came down from heaven.” But in verse 42, the Jews questioned only the phrase, “I came down from heaven” and ignored “ego eimi.” The same is true of verses 51 & 52
In John 8:12, 18, 24, & 28, Jesus used “ego eimi” with Pharisees present (vs.13) and yet, no stoning. He, again, used it four times in John 10:7, 9, 11, & 14 with no stoning. Jesus said to his disciples, “that ye may believe that I am (ego eimi)” in John 13:19 without them batting an eye.
This brings us back to John.8:58. Why did the Jews seek to stone him on that occasion? The context of John 8 shows that Jesus;
- accused the Jews of “judging after the flesh” (vs.15).
- said they would die in their sins (vss.21,24).
- implied they were in bondage (vss.32,33).
- said they were servants of sin (vs.34).
- said they were out to kill him (vss. 37,40).
- implied they were spiritually deaf (vs.43,47).
- said their father was the devil (vs.44).
- said they were not of Elohim (vs.47).
- accused them of dishonoring him (vs.49).
- accused them of not knowing Yahweh (vs.55).
- accused them of lying (vs.55).
- Aside from that, the Jews misunderstood Jesus words leading them to believe; that he accused them of being born of fornication (vs.41).
- Jesus had a devil (vs.52).
- that he was exalting himself above Abraham (vs.53).
- that he saw Abraham (vs.56).
Jesus words in verse 58 were the culmination of an encounter that was so offensive to the Jews, that they couldn’t restrain themselves. They simply couldn’t take it anymore so they sought to stone him, not because of two simple words, “ego eimi,” but because he was making himself out to be greater than their beloved father Abraham.
Interestingly, verse 59 The scribes and Pharisees took up stones to throw at him and Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. ( Was this blinding miracle over looked?) Jesus was standing among them and they had there eyes set on him their hate, jealousy and indignation was boiling over they were going to stone him to death and God did something either blinded them or turned Jesus invisible to cloak him to escape this situation. Again after he was arrested Caiaphas the high priest asked Jesus who he was Matt. 26:63
Matthew 26:63-65Names of God Bible (NOG)
63 But Yeshua was silent.
Then the chief priest said to him, “Swear an oath in front of the living God and tell us, are you the Messiah, the Son of God?”
64 Yeshua answered him, “Yes, I am. (Ego Eimi)But I can guarantee that from now on you will see the Son of Man in the highest position in heaven. He will be coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65 Then the chief priest tore his robes in horror and said, “He has dishonored God! Why do we need any more witnesses? You’ve just heard him dishonor God! If Jesus would of said he was God Yehovah the Father the Most High their creator, he would of been stoned on the spot. They wanted to kill him for just saying he was the son of their God… Brethren we need to know who is God and who is not! The Father alone is Eternal, there is no other but He. Is. 45:5 Jesus is our God’s created Son his mother is Mary. To have a baby you need a mother and a father. A begetting is not something that already exist but something that comes into creation through a birth process…
To say that Jesus claimed to be God because he said “I am” can only be at most, an unsupported and weak opinion. It is obviously not a teaching, but simply an historical occurrence that many have turned into a teaching that has no foundation. Nor is there any scripture in the bible that uses this occurrence as a teaching to promote a Trinity or Oneness, or to prove that Yashua is Yahweh. To hinge the Trinity or Oneness doctrine on an assumption is indeed a weak argument to make and wouldn’t get very far in a court of law. And to say that we are condemned if we do not believe in a certain vague interpretation is totally unacceptable to all who earnestly seek truth. Remember that we are judged by the measures we judge others, so we shouldn’t be so unreasonable.