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Bible Gem 62: Before Abraham Was, I Am (John 8:58)

March 10, 2019

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!" John 8:58  


What an amazing verse. Notice Jesus starts it with a truly, truly saying. What an amazing statement. “Before Abraham was I am”.

Why didn’t Jesus say what was grammatically correct “Before Abraham was I was.” No He says Before Abraham was I Am. 

Two things are happening here.  Jesus and God live in the everlasting present. While it is correct to say Before Abraham was I was, it is even more correct when related to God and Jesus to say “Before Abraham was I am.”


But aside from that you already know the “I am” Sayings of John have a specific purpose. (see Bible Gem 38). These are linked to the name God revealed to Moses to be His name forever in Exodus 3:14. In this passage we have three of them in a series.  


That is why I said that you will die in your sins . . . unless you believe that I AM. . . " John 8:24  

So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I AM. John 8:28 

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!" John 8:58  


This last one is an eye catching statement. You don’t really know the Great I Am if you don’t understand how Jesus can say this and be absolutely correct. God (and by inference Jesus) stand outside of time. They are ever the same, as the Bible says: yesterday and today and forever. When God revealed His name to Moses and said tell them “I am that I am” has sent you he was saying a lot in that one revelation. He was saying effectively “I am that I am”; “I was that I was”, “I will be that I will be”. Or alternatively “I am that I was”, “I am that I am” or “I am that I will be”  Or any other combination or permutation that you like – “I was that I am”, “I was that I will be”, “I will be that I was”, “I will be what I am” and “I will be what I will be”.  God is ever the same, entirely consistent with His nature and stands outside of time. Get the message. What a profound statement Jesus makes in John 8:58 and of course for the third time in a few verses he is taking on His lips the unmentionable name of God which no Jew would dare to utter.  No wonder they get the point of picking up stones to stone Him. 


There is more yet to come but you will have to wait for the next I Am occurrence.  You find it. Next Gem we cross the chapter boundary again. So do your work in the next chapter before we come to it. You know what to do now. We will only spend one Gem on Chapter 9. First time in the short history of Bible Gems. 



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