Jesus is in the “present tense.”
In the Gospel of John, John records the statement “I AM” (in Greek: Ἐγώ εἰμι – e-gō’ … ā-mē’) 24 times, used in three different ways:
- “It’s Me!” – 4:26, 9:9
- Without the predicate nominative – a distinct reference to “I AM”
- John 6:19-20 – So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”
- John 8:24 – Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM [he], you will die in your sins.”
- John 8:57-58 – Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
- John 18:6-8 – Now when He said to them, “I am[he],” they drew back and fell to the ground. Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I have told you that I AM [he]. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,”
- With a predicate nominative – “I AM a good shepherd”
- A predicate nominative is “a noun or pronoun that follows a linking verb and refers to the same person or thing as the subject of the verb” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)
John gives seven of these I AM statements with the predicate nominative (what we call the I AM statements of Jesus). These seven statements give insight and clarity as to who Jesus is and His work in our lives.
The I AM Statements of Jesus in John’s Gospel
- “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)
- “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)
- “I am the door [gate] of the sheep.” (John 10:7, 9)
- “I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14)
- “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25)
- “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
- “I am the true vine.” (John 15:1, 5)
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- Exodus 3:13-15 – Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’
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Question: What does it mean for Jesus to be in the “present tense” in your life?
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NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.
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