Summary: When Jesus said "I AM," it usually was a metaphor describing his character or nature. 12 times Jesus used this phrase. Here we look at the 7 "I AMs" of Jesus which capture His most meaningful characteristics.
THE “I AM”s OF JESUS
A. HUMOR: COWBOY WISDOM: 6 GEMS
1. Never squat with your spurs on.
2. There's two theories to arguing with a woman; neither one works.
3. Don't worry about bitin' off more than you can chew, your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think.
4. If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
5. There was a mountain lion that ate an entire bull and felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along...and shot him. The moral: When you're full of bull, keep...your mouth shut.
6. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.
B. ONE SOLITARY LIFE
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. He never wrote a book, He never held an office, He never went to college, He never visited a big city, He never travelled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things usually associated with greatness. He had no credentials but himself.
He was only thirty three. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today Jesus is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind's progress. All the armies that have ever marched, All the navies that have ever sailed, All the
parliaments that have ever sat, All the kings that ever reigned put together -- have not affected the life of mankind on earth as powerfully as that one solitary life.
C. OPINIONS BY LEADING JEWS
1. Sholem Asch, Yiddish Author, 1880-1957. “Jesus Christ is to me the outstanding personality of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. There is no easy middle ground to stroll upon. You either accept Jesus or reject him. You can analyze Mohammed and...Buddha, but don't try it with him. You either accept or you reject.”
2. Albert Einstein, Physicist and Professor, Princeton University, 1879-1955. “I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene....No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrase-mongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.” [George Sylvester Viereck, "What Life Means to Einstein," The Saturday Evening Post, October 26, 1929.]
3. Solomon B. Freehof, Author and Professor at Hebrew Union College, 1892-1990. “The years have not diminished the urgency of the question: "What do you think of Jesus?"...The significant fact is that time has not faded the vividness of his [Jesus'] image. Poetry still sings his praise. He is still the living comrade of countless lives. No Moslem ever sings, "Mohammed, lover of my soul," nor does any Jew say of Moses, the teacher, "I need thee every hour." [In Stormers of Heaven (New York: Harper and Row, 1931).]
D. THESIS: WHO IS JESUS?
1. Just who is Jesus of Nazareth? One time he asked his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" (Mt. 16:15). Why is this question important?
a. Because upon your answer to that question hangs your salvation!
b. Another reason is that what God/Christ can do for you depends to some degree on your faith in Him. He wants to forgive you, heal you, deliver you, set you free… but you must believe He is, and will do it.
2. We’re going to look at 7 of “The I AM’s of Jesus.”
I. “I AM!”
A. THE DIVINE NAME OF GOD
1. After 430 years of bitter bondage, the God of Israel manifested Himself; a fire appeared on Mount Horeb to an ex-prince of Egypt named Moses.
2. God said to him, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” When God outlined His plan to deliver Israel, Moses asked God’s name. God said, “Tell them, ‘I AM has sent you to them!’” That divine Name, usually translated “Lord,” is used 7,000 times in the O.T.