I Am He


The book of John contains Jesus’ 7 I AM Statements. They are proclamations by Jesus of His personage. While Jesus is much more than those seven statements or all that is contained in the Word of God, it gives us insight into who He is especially in reference to His deity. We need to know that He is God. We need to know that He is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Door, the Good Shepherd, the Resurrection and Life, the Way the Truth and the Life, the True Vine. As we look back into John 18, Jesus uses that familiar phrase once more – I Am He.

In this instance, Jesus has been betrayed. Judas brought “a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.” They came to arrest Jesus and to bring Him to trial for claiming to be God. That was against their law. Imagine that. Imagine the Creator subjecting Himself to His creation. Imagine you giving your child, whom you did not create, your nephew, niece or some other person complete control over you to seemingly decide your death. We could not do it, but Jesus did it to redeem the called to God.

Let’s listen to the interaction and the reaction to the power of God. John 18

Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

Guided by Judas, the detachment of soldiers and officials came armed to apprehend Jesus. They came armed expecting a fight once they found Him. The irony is that Jesus did not wait. He went to them out in the open not shrouded by anyone or anything in the garden. He did it for several reasons. First about His life, Jesus tells us in John 10:18 “ No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”they apparently did not know how to identify Jesus.” No one had to forcibly take Jesus. He offered Himself to those whom He knew came to get Him. Next, Jesus tells us in the passage that He went out to meet them to protect his disciples i.e. so none would be lost except the one slated for destruction. They came with arms. Jesus came with weapons not of this world. He came with the power of God. He had the power to lay down His life and to take it back up (rise again). Jesus always followed the will of the Father and always protected His disciples (John 17:12).

When Jesus “went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. I am he,” Jesus said. When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.” When I first read that they fell to the ground, I was like what. What kind of response was that? As I considered that, it revealed the power to which Jesus possesses. It is a power that armed men fell to the ground when Jesus merely told them I Am He. I Am is the declaration of God. Jesus professed being God. To us, that isn’t such a big statement, but for those in the time, those words meant more to them. Regardless of the connotation to us, we all know that armed men falling to the ground from the words of an unarmed man is not the norm.

What causes that? It is the power of God. The disciples soon learned what He was and the power He possessed. We have the Word of God to fast forward our knowledge and understanding. Jesus, through His Word, is still proclaiming I Am He to those who are seeking for the Savior and Lord. Just as He did then, He also does now for all who are seeking. They soldiers and officials were not looking for the Messiah just as many today are not looking for the Savior and Lord. Despite that, Jesus declares I Am He. Wrapped up in the description of Jesus of Nazareth is the fulfillment of prophecy. We even see it from an evil spirit in Mark 1:24.

Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy when He said I Am He. Choose Jesus, and choose life. For He declared,“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” John 11:25

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