Seeing Jesus as the I Am
Written by Jay Yeager
Thursday, 12 February 2009 03:13

Seeing Jesus as the I Am

(John 8:58)

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am”.

The subject of this lesson is the Deity of Christ. Beloved, just the mention of the name of Jesus Christ invokes a number of responses; many of them are absent or ignorant of plain Bible truth, for instance:

  1. Jesus was just a good man.

  2. Jesus did not come in the flesh.

  3. Jesus was a prophet, but not the Son of God.

Attached to this lesson is a three page question and answer section that addresses and denies those three statements. Further, in that study, the Deity of Christ will be established for every honest soul.

Beloved, members of the church of Christ are a people of the book, that simply means we appeal to the scriptures inspired of God (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:3) to determine the truth on any spiritual matter. Every member of the body of Christ recognizes that the word of God is settled in heaven (Psalms 119:89). Now, that does not mean that everyone will acknowledge the truth of God’s word and here is why:

  1. Some do not want the truth (II Timothy 4:3-4).

  2. Others do not love the truth enough to escape a lie (II Thessalonians 2:10-12).

  3. Still others are so past feeling that they would not know the truth if they heard it (I Timothy 4:1-3).

Of course, if all possess that attitude, this lesson would be at the least pointless. But I am convinced that there are those who want to hear and will yield to Divine truth. In light of that, I want to present Biblical evidence in as simplistic a way as I know how, so that even young and eager minds can see the Deity of Christ.

Jesus Christ is The Son of God. In fact, the apostle John was privileged to identify Jesus five times in his writings as the “only begotten Son of God” (John 1:14; 18; 3:16; 18; I John 4:9). Do you know how significant that is? The Jews in the first century certainly understood the significance. They knew that Jesus Christ calling himself the Son of God was a declaration of his Deity. “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18).

Did Jesus call himself the Son of God? Yes! The story of the healing of the blind man in John 9:1-41 has some impressive lessons, none more important than the dialogue between Jesus and the man he had given sight to. “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Doth thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him (John 9:35-38).

Did others recognize that Jesus was the Son of God? Yes!

  1. Those nearest to him.

  2. Evil spirits that feared him

  3. The Father who loved him.

Those nearest to him

In Matthew 14:22-33, at night in the midst of a fierce wind at sea Jesus does what no one has ever done before, he walks on water. More than that, he gives Peter permission to join him, “…Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, come…” (Matthew 14:28-29, and Peter does. Setting aside the fact that Peter gets caught up in his surrounding instead of who is in front of him, and Peter’s rescue by Jesus, can you see this scene? The impossible has been done and witnessed!! Further, when Jesus and Peter enter the ship, the fierce wind ceased. The apostles utter the only logical conclusion, “Of a truth thou art the Son of God”.

Again in John 11, there is one of the more moving scenes in the Bible, as death has taken one of those personally close to Jesus (John 11:5). Martha (a grieving sister) hears that Jesus is coming and she goes out to meet him. Martha is carrying all the emotion she is feeling as she goes to meet her Lord, and certainly her devotion and confidence in Jesus is on display for all to see.

Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give thee. Jesus said unto her, thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world” (John 11:21-27). Martha knew exactly who she went out to meet!

The apostle John near the end of the book he is privileged to pen, there is this wonderful summation. “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30-31).

Evil spirits that feared him

Evil spirits possessing human beings is not a threat we face in our day, to be sure (Zechariah 13:2). But in the first century it existed and Jesus and select men of that time demonstrated their power over them (Matthew 9:32-33; 12:22-23; Acts 19:11-12 et al).

How the devils reacted when confronted by Jesus is both striking and pertinent to our study. The devils, who possessed the man in the country of the Gadarenes, when facing Jesus, acknowledged him and the power and judgment he had over them. “And, behold, they cried out, saying, what have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time” (Matthew 8:29)?

Again, in Mark 3:10-11 there is this; “For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God”

The Father who loved him

Three times God verbally acknowledges Jesus from heaven: If you had been there, what would you have said? Knowing what we know now, you and I would most likely have watched in heart wrenching silence. Not wanting to lend our voices to this terrible event, yet knowing that the cross was necessary for us to have any hope of eternal life. We would have watched in tears, and in silent agreement to those terrible words:

  1. At his baptism, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17).

  2. On the Mount of Transfiguration, “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias, while he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:1-5).

  3. As Calvary loomed ever nearer. “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again” (John 12:27-28).

There is a fourth time, not in words to be sure, but in action. Darkness that covered the land from the sixth to the ninth hour (Matthew 27:45; Amos 8:9), the veil of the temple rent from the top to the bottom, the earth that quaked, the rocks rent, the graves opened (Matthew 27:51-53). The centurion and those with him understood the message. “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54).

The name Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1; Mark 1:1; John 17:3): Joseph and Mary did not select a name for the child Mary would give birth to, they were given a name. “…Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). “And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1:31). Jesus means Saviour, and Jesus is the Saviour of the world (John 4:42; I John 4:14).

Jesus is the “Christ”, which means Anointed or Messiah (John 1:41; 4:25). However, there is a meaning that goes just a bit deeper. Faithful members of the Lord’s church point out, and correctly so, that the antichrists were guilty of denying the humanity of Christ (I John 4:3; II John 7), and they were also guilty of denying the Deity of Christ. “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son” (I John 2:22). Those who denied that Jesus was the Christ were guilty of denying his Deity.

Along that same line, come with me to Matthew chapter 22 where we find the enemies of Jesus had gathered in an effort to trap Jesus in his words. In this chapter we find arrogance, frustration and finally silence.

Arrogance. They believed that they had the unanswerable questions. The disciples of the Herodians and Pharisees ask Jesus about taxes. “Tell us therefore, what Thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not” (Matthew 22:17)? Surely they thought they had the perfect question, to say “yes”, would alienate the Jews, to answer “no” would place him at odds with the Romans government.

The Sadducees (who did not believe in the resurrection) present a scenario in which a women is married to seven brothers in order to raise seed to the family, whose wife would she be in the resurrection (Matthew 22:23-28; Deuteronomy 25:5)?

A lawyer likewise tempts Jesus with the question, “Master what is the great commandment in the law” (Matthew 22:36)?

Frustration, as Jesus answered the seemingly unanswerable:

  1. Show me the tribute money and they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, whose is this image and superscription? They said unto him Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:19-21).

  2. Jesus answered and said unto them, ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:29-32).

  3. Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all, thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Mathew 22:37-40).

Finished and stunned, Jesus had a question for them. “Saying, what think ye of Christ? Whose son is he? They say unto him, the Son of David. He saith unto them, How then did David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David called him Lord, how is he a son” (Matthew 22:41-45)?

Silence. Beloved, when Jesus asks them, “Christ whose son is he?” they answered willing enough, “the son of David”. They had no problem with the human side of Jesus. But when Jesus quotes Psalms 110:1, and applies David’s inspired words to Christ, to acknowledge that would be to recognize his Deity, and this they were unwilling to do. “And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions” (Matthew 22:46).

Plain passages on the Deity of Christ that no honest soul could miss

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:5-6).


Looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)

Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:2-3).

I end where we began “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). The Jews knew better than anyone the meaning of “I am” for it was a part of the Old Testament. “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, what is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses. I AM THAT I AM: and he said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:13-14).

When Jesus said “I am” he was declaring in unmistakable language his Deity. The Jews sought to take his life. Christians on the other hand recognize his Deity and are neither afraid nor ashamed to affirm and defend it.

That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. A-men” (I Timothy 6:14-15).

The Deity of Christ

Just the mention of Jesus Christ invokes a number of responses. Many of them are absent or ignorant of plain Bible truth.

Jesus was just a good man

  1. Could Jesus be a good man and lie about his identity?

    1. Who did Jesus claim to be (John 9:35-38; 10:36)? __________________

    2. Did Jesus declare his Deity (John 8:58; Exodus 3:14)? _______________

  1. Could Jesus be a good man and lie about the power of his words?

    1. Who gave Jesus the words to speak (John 7:16-17; 12:49)? ___________________

    2. What did his words contain (John 6:63)? _________________

    3. What will the words of Jesus do?

John 8:31-32 _______________________________

John 12:48 _________________________________

John 5:28-29 _______________________________

  1. Could Jesus be a good man and lie about salvation?

    1. What does Jesus offer (John 1:12)? _________________________

      1. Will there be those who refuse (John 5:39-40)? ______________________

    2. Can one go to the Father without the Son (John 14:6)? ________________________

    3. Did Jesus claim to be the Messiah (John 4:25-26)? ___________________________

  1. Could Jesus be a good man and lie about his death and resurrection?

    1. Did Jesus say that he willingly gave his life (John 10:18)? ____________________

    2. What did Jesus promise to do when they destroyed his body (John 2:19; Matthew 16:21)? ____________________________________________________________

    3. Did Jesus keep that promise (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12)? _____________________________________________________________

    4. What does his resurrection from the dead declare (Romans 1:4)? __________________________________________

    5. Is Jesus the firstfruits of them that slept (I Corinthians 15:20)? _________________

      1. Jesus was the first to rise from the dead without any earthly intervention

      2. Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead and die no more (Revelation 1:18)

Jesus was not a man – did not come in the flesh

  1. What are those who deny the humanity of Jesus (I John 2:18; 22; 4:3; II John 7)? _________________________________________________

  2. What did the Word become (John 1:1; 14)? ______________________________

  3. What did Jesus take upon himself (Philippians 2:5-9)? _______________________________

  4. Why was flesh and blood necessary (Hebrews 9:22; I Peter 1:18-19)? _____________________

  5. What does the emblems of the Lord’s Supper represent (Matthew 26:26-28; I Corinthians 11:23-26)? ______________________________________

  6. For whom did Jesus taste of death for (Hebrews 2:9)? _____________________________

  7. What would not see corruption (Psalms 16:10; Acts 2:27; 31)? _____________________

Jesus is a prophet, but to call Him the Son of God is blasphemy

Qur’an (Sura 5:75-76)

  1. Is Jesus the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14; 18; 3:16; 18; I John 4:9)? ______________________________________________________________

  2. What did Martha say (John 11:24-27)? ________________________

  3. What did Peter say (Matthew 16:16)? ___________________________

  4. Where is eternal life (I John 5:11-12)? ___________________________

  5. Did God acknowledge that Jesus is His Son (Matthew 3:13-17; 17:1-5)? ___________________________________________________

  6. After seeing the events surrounding the crucifixion what did one official and those with him conclude (Matthew 27:54)? _____________________________

  7. Are the scriptures inspired of God (II Timothy 3:16-17)? __________________________

  8. Is Jesus “that prophet” foretold by Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-18; John 6:14; Acts 3:22-26)? ________________

  9. Does God speak through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2)? _________________________

  10. Is that word final and complete (Galatians 1:8-9; Jude 3; Revelation 22:18-19)? ________________________________________

The Deity of Christ

  1. Is Jesus God (John 1:1-3)? ___________________________

  2. Is Jesus equal with the Father (Philippians 2:6)? ________________

  3. Is Jesus the express image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3)? ________________________

  4. Is Jesus the “I AM” (John 8:58; Exodus 3:14)? ___________________________

  5. What does “Immanuel” mean (Isaiah 7:14; 8:8; 10; Matthew 1:23)? ___________________________________________________________

  6. Who did Isaiah see sitting on the throne high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:1-5; John 12:36-41)? __________________________________________

    1. Did Isaiah twice refer to Christ as Jehovah (Isaiah 6:3; 5)? _______________

  7. Who is the great God and our Saviour (Titus 2:13)? _______________________

  8. When Jesus declared that he was the “Son of God”, did the Jews understand that Jesus was declaring His Deity (John 5:18; 10:33)? __________________________

  9. Did Thomas recognize the Deity of Christ (John 20:28)? _______________________

Do you recognize the Deity of Christ? ______________