Commentary

 

I am

     

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

Moses sees a bush that burns but is not consumed.

In the Old Testament, Jehovah -- once -- calls Himself "I AM". In Hebrew, the word is אֶהְיֶה , which has the meaning of "being", or "coming into being". This naming occurs in Exodus, when God appears to Moses in a burning bush, in the wilderness of Mount Horeb. It is one of the main spiritual turning points in the Bible, and the source of one of its deepest statements about God.

The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were now slaves in Egypt. They were numerous, but their connection with their forebears and with the land of Canaan was tenuous. The Pharaoh of that time "knew not Joseph". Their spiritual progress had stalled out.

Jehovah chooses Moses, herding sheep in the desert, to go back to Egypt and lead his people to freedom.

"And Moses said to God, 'Behold, I come to the sons of Israel, and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them?' And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO is I AM'; and He said, 'Thus shalt thou say to the sons of Israel: I AM has sent me to you'." (Exodus 3:13, 14)

"I AM". It goes right to the very core of existence. Bigger than space, beyond time, uncreated.

Then, after many hundreds of years, with some people in Judea and its environs still waiting for the promised Messiah, Jesus says the same thing. People sit up and take notice.

When the disciples are in a storm-wracked sea in a small boat, Jesus comes to them, walking on the water:

"But straightway Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'Have confidence; I am; be not afraid'." Matthew 14:27

In the Gospel of John, there are several of these statements:

When Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman at the well:

The woman says to Him, "I know that Messiah comes, who is called Christ; when He has come, He will announce to us all things." Jesus says to her, "I am, who speaks to thee." John 4:25, 26

Then we find this conversation between Jesus and his disciples:

"I said then to you that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am, you shall die in your sins. Therefore they said to Him, Who art thou? And Jesus said to them, The Beginning, who also am speaking to you. John 8:24, 25

Later, in the same chapter, Jesus said to the disciples,

"Amen, amen, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am." John 8:58

In chapter 13, again, Jesus is talking with the disciples at the Last Supper:

"From henceforth I tell you before it come to pass, that when it has come to pass, you may believe that I am." John 13:19

Finally, when Jesus is being arrested, there's this powerful scene:

"Judas then, having received a band of soldiers and attendants from the chief priests and Pharisees, comes thither with lanterns, and lamps, and weapons. Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that were coming on Him, went out and said to them, Whom do you seek? They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus says to them, 'I am'.

And Judas also, who betrayed Him, stood with them. When therefore He had said to them, I am, they went away backward, and fell on the ground. Again, therefore, He asked them, Whom do you seek? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I told you that I am; if then you seek Me, let these go away, that the word which He said might be fulfilled, Of those whom Thou gavest Me I have lost none. John 18:3-9

These "I am" statements by Jesus are not the seven "I am" statements that are often listed; those are also very interesting, but on a different track. The ones listed above are places where Jesus is declaring that He is God, that he is "I AM".

This is hugely important. Isaiah prophesied that the Christ child would be God Himself, in human form:

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6.

Jesus is saying the same thing. Internally, he is "I am". As he gradually puts off or purifies his more external human elements, the internal shines through more and more.

The Bible

 

John 4:26

Study the Inner Meaning

              

26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of John 4      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Explaining the Inner Meaning of John 4

Verses 4:1, 2, 3, 4. That the Lord perceived from his Divine principle in what manner the perverted church was offended at his teaching internal truths, and their prevalence over external, and that thus purification was effected by the truths derived from good, therefore he again applies himself to plant the church amongst the Gentiles.

Verses 4:5, 6. And first amongst those who are principled in interior truths, in connection with interior spiritual good, thus with the Word, from which instruction is given in the things of love and charity, after a state of spiritual labour.

Verses 4:7, 8. That on this occasion, they who are principled in the affection of good in that church seek instruction in truth, and this from divine dictate, to the intent that from the doctrine of truth they might appropriate good.

Verses 4:9, 10. They are therefore inquisitive concerning the divine dictate and its requirements, not being aware of the operation of such a dictate, and are accordingly instructed that it is from the Divine Humanity of the Lord, who is the source of every truth of good, and who imparts such truth to those who apply to him for it.

Verses 4:11, 12. This however appears incredible to those, who believe only in the letter of the Word, and who therefore do not see that all the Jewish patriarchs were representative of the Lord, and that all the instruction they received from the Word was in consequence of its connection with his Divine Humanity.

Verse 4:14. Therefore they are further instructed, that the truths of the Word can never become full and living and eternal truths in man, until they are seen and received as one with the divine truth, which is the same thing as the Lord's Divine Humanity.

Verse 4:15. And in consequence of this instruction, they are led earnestly to desire the knowledge of the interior truths of the Word.

Verses 4:16, 17, 18. But are further taught that such interior truths cannot be apprehended, until conjunction of good and truth be formed in the intellectual principle, which conjunction was at present not genuine or legitimate.

Verses 4:19, 20, 21, 22. 23. Hence they perceive that the Lord in his Divine Humanity is the source of all truth, and hence they are further instructed that representative worship is to cease, because it is a worship unattended with intellectual light, and that it is to be supplanted by a worship grounded in love, and enlightened by wisdom, which worship leads to conjunction with the Supreme Good.

Verse 4:24. Because God is divine love and wisdom in a human form, or in a Divine Humanity, and therefore none can worship him acceptably but from that love and according to that wisdom.

Verses 4:25, 26. That it is revealed to those of the church who are in the affection of good, that divine truth will be manifested on earth in a bodily form, to impart instruction, and they are further taught from the Word, that the Lord in his Divine Humanity is that truth, in union with the Divine Good.

Verse 4:27. That with those who are principled in truth, the establishment of the church amongst the Gentiles appears strange, and they are afraid to inquire into the purpose intended by it, or the manner of its accomplishment.

Verses 4:28, 29. But they who are in the affection of good, when they have received instruction in truth, form their lives accordingly, and testify by doctrine that the divine truth is manifested as a man, who is thus omniscient, and acquainted with all the purposes and thoughts of man.

Verse 4:30. Which testimony is received in the church, and thus the Lord is approached in his Divine Humanity.

Verses 4:31, 32, 33, 34. For to the end that he might be so approached, he from divine love glorified his Humanity, or made it divine, by submitting it to the government of the divine good in himself, until divine truth in himself became divine good.

Verses 4:35, 36. And thus a spiritual church was established which was in the affection of truth, and by virtue of that affection, in heaven, and thus conjoined with the Lord in his joy.

Verse 4:37. For the Lord dispenses truth and its affection, to the intent that the church may thereby attain to the heavenly good of love and charity.

Verse 4:38. And may thus appropriate to itself all the good things of heaven and of the Lord, himself.

Verses 4:39, 40. They therefore, who are principled in spiritual good, acknowledge the Lord in his Divine Humanity, from a belief in his omniscience, and Seek and attain conjunction of life with him.

Verses 4:41, 42. And are thus taught, not by external teaching only, but by the testimony of the divine good and truth in their own minds, that the Lord in his Divine Humanity was the predicted Redeemer and Saviour of mankind.

Verses 4:43, 44, 45. That the Gentiles are again instructed in the truth, which is rejected by those of the perverted church; and that they receive instruction, and become a church, being convinced of the omnipotence of truth.

Verse 4:46. And that thus their natural ideas of truth become spiritual, but as yet not fully conjoined with good.

Verse 4:47. Therefore supplication is made to the Lord in his Divine Humanity for assistance, and that they may be preserved from the influence of evil love.

Verses 4:48, 49, 50. This supplication, however, does not proceed from a genuine but from a miraculous faith, nevertheless it is granted, and thus a genuine faith is implanted.

Verses 4:51, 52, 53. And its conjunction with charity is acknowledged in all the lower principles of life, and seen to be the effect of the reception of the divine truth proceeding from the Lord's Divine Humanity, which is the source of genuine faith.

Verse 4:54. Thus the church amongst the Gentiles was confirmed in the faith, not only by observing that their natural ideas of truth were become spiritual, but by experiencing also the conjunction of truth with good, or of faith with charity, resulting from their belief in the Lord's Divine Humanity.

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