Jun 21, 2015

Who did Jesus say He was?


The Gospel of John is quite different from those written by Mark, Matthew, and Luke commonly referred to as the Synoptic Gospels because their biographical portrayal of Jesus focuses more on His humanity.  John’s Jesus is much more majestic, His divinity, nor is His destiny is never in doubt.  John shows us that Jesus is unique, the only being that is true God and true man, able to fully reveal God to humanity

In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus is called “Christ”, “Messiah”, “Lord (Sir and Master are implied), “Savior”, “Rabbi (Raboni)”, “Teacher”, “Son of God”, “Son of Man”, “Son of David’, “King of the Jews”, and “King of Israel”.

John uses these terms, but introduces six new terms, all of which emphasize Jesus’ divinity and destiny.  John’s Jesus is called “Logos”, “Only-Begotten Son of God”, “One who Comes from Above” (or sent from above), “Lamb of God” (Passover Lamb), “Equal to God”, and “I AM”.

It is this last “name of Jesus” that interests me.  John used the Greek term “eimi” 45 times, of those he wrote “ego eimi”, I AM, 24 times.    The bold passages indicate where the pronoun “I” is used with the verb “AM”.  A special thanks to Rev. Felix Just, S.J., who provided this list showing the passages.
John 4:26; 6:20; 6:35; 6:41; 6:48; 6:51; 7:28; 7:29; 7:33; 7:34; 7:36; 8:12; 8:16; 8:18; 8:23 (twice); 8:24; 8:28; 8:58; 9:5; 10:7; 10:9; 10:11; 10:14; 10:36; 11:25; 12:26; 13:13; 13:19; 13:33; 14:3; 14:6; 14:9; 15:1; 15:5; 16:32; 17:11; 17:14; 17:16; 17:24; 18:5; 18:6; 18:8; 18:37; 19:21
This 10 part series will focus on 9 symbolic “I AM” statements in the Gospel of John.  While there are many more passages where Jesus makes a personal claim, these nine symbolically illustrate who He says He is.


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15:1, 5
I AM the Vine my Father is the Gardner/You are the Branches

Sources:
  • Bergant, Dianne C.S.A., and Robert J. O.F.M Karris. The Collegeville Bible Commentary. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1986.
  • Brown, Raymond D. S.S., Joseph A, S.J. Fitzymer, and Roland E, O. Carm. Murphy, . The Jerome Biblical Commentary. Vol. I and II. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1968.
  • Hunt, Michal. "The 7 Symbolic "I Am" Metaphors of John's Gospel." Agape Catholic Bible Study. AgapeBibleStudy.com, 2007. Web. 21 June 2015. <http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/charts/Seven%20Days%20and%20Seven%20I%20AMs%20in%20John's%20Gospel.html>.
  • Just, Rev. Felix, Ph. D. "Christology in the Fourth Gospel." Catholic Resources for Bible, Liturgy, Art, and Theology. Felix Just, S. J., 8 July 2013. Web. 21 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fcatholic-resources.org%2FJohn%2FThemes-Christology.htm>.
  • Just, Rev. Felix, Ph. D. "I AM" Sayings in the Fourth Gospel." Catholic Resources for Bible, Liturgy, Art, and Theology. Felix Just, S. J., 11 July 2012. Web. 12 June 2015. <http://catholic-resources.org/John/Themes-IAM.htm>.
  • Lewis, Scott M. The Gospel According to John and the Johannine Letters. Collegeville, MI: Liturgical, 2005. Print.
  • Martin, Francis. The Gospel of John. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015. Print.
  • Mays, James L., et al., . Harper's Bible Commentary. New York City, New York: Harper San Francisco: a Divison of Harper Collins Publishers, 1988.
  • Wilson, Neil S., and Linda K. Taylor. Handbook of Bible Charts & Maps. Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2001.

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Who did Jesus say He was?
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