Episode 112: He Is the Great I Am

My good friend Michael Burgos, author of Kiss the Son and editor of the JTSA, volumes one and two, joins me to discuss the important and profound “I am” statements of Jesus.


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7 thoughts on “Episode 112: He Is the Great I Am

  1. Yes, I as a former Oneness-modalist, it is vitally important to exegete the the” I AM”,especially in johannine account.Why? It was indoctrinated to us Op’s that understanding the ‘I Am’ means a revelation to an individual Christian.They will qoute flesh and blood did not reveal,disclosed to you but the Holy Spirit and His tangible messenger-teacher.Thus,to them without further exigesis or there is someone who is hermeneut that was used by God to shed the LIGHT
    of it.Then automatically they will ascribed full orbed-deity-divinity that must belongs to Lord Jesus Christ.Affirming One-single God believism.Only One-God radical monotheism.Hence, by using ‘I AM’ for Jesus.,there would be no further controversy to them; that he is the One God of two testament
    i.e.,Hebrew bible and the New testament.And belivieng that Jesus is the “Great I am” Is soteriological. cf Jn17:1,3.That believing on Him(Jesus: the Father(I AM) is in the Son) Thats why it is a MUST now to every bible scholar as Tri-un-one God believer to exegete it further wth all honesty and explain it for further illumination.The next generation of
    believers will really be benefited.
    It must be noted that many Op’s scholar are blossoming.Like the author of ‘I Am’ book, his name is Dr David Norton.If i am not mistaken.He is the latest scholar of Op’s.He used the rule of exegesis either..Again if iam not mistaken. if I wil have the book I can scrutinized its exegetical fallacy. If there is! I believe theres strenght and weak point in its entirety.

  2. Great show. It is easy to overlook the I Am statements without the OT context.

    I would like to say one thing though. Attributes like infinitude, eternality, and unchangingness are incommunicable. Finite minds cannot include the infinite because the relation is asymmetrical. The difference is qualitative, not merely quantitative.

    In contrast, wisdom for example is communicable because the nature of wisdom is the same in both finite and infinite (wise is like infinitely wise but unlike non-wise). Same with the other communicable attributes. The differences aren’t qualitative because infinite includes the finite, even though infinite is much more than finite minds can know.

    When we say that we must be able to know God’s infinitude, we are saying that we must exhaustively know God in order to know him. This is incorrect. God is not merely infinite, but infinite in power, holiness, goodness, justice, and truth. In that way we do know him. We can only know God in part, in contrast to all of him (infinity), and in contrast to none of him. We can also know God in part, everlastingly.

    We can know God is infinite, that’s not what I’m talking about. It is knowing his infinity that is impossible.

    I hope that makes sense.

  3. This is a serious question. If John 18:6 is a response to Jesus declaring the divine name in John 18:5, why was there not a similar responses (people falling down) other times that Jesus said “I am he” (for example, John 8:58)? Please keep your responses simple …

  4. Maybe these particular Jews, in John 8:58 that He was talking to, had a different reaction to His claim because they thought they were right and that He was demon possessed

    48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”

    52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death.

    Different people have different reactions to Jesus’ Word:

    Matt 12:30 “Whoever is not with me [Jesus] is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

  5. At around the 1 hour point, Michael makes several observations about the broader context leading into Jesus saying in Mark 6:50 “I Am” to the disciples while walking on water.

    Mark 6:50 `Take courage, I am [he], be not afraid.’
    Namely that there are several very good reasons that we should understand Jesus’ words here as more than simply Him casually letting the disciples know who was there. That is, that Mark 6:50, to Michael, is another occurrence of Jesus claiming this name of God “I Am”. I agree.

    Michael’s points were:
    1. Jesus is, after all, walking on water at the very time He says “I Am”. And you might refer back to Job 9:8 (LEB) He [God] is the one who alone stretches out the heavens and who tramples on the waves of the sea.
    [Conclusive? No. Evidence? yes.]

    2. Jesus comforts their fears by saying , “I Am”, don’t be afraid. Psalm 112:1 Blessed is the man who fears Yahweh.
    [Conclusive? No. Evidence? yes.]

    3. Mark 6:48 “Jesus meant to pass them by”
    Why say this? Why was it important that Mark record this intention of Jesus to “pass by them”?
    Genesis 18:3 And he said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your eyes do not pass by your servant.
    1 Kings 19:11 (LEB) He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before Yahweh.” Suddenly Yahweh was passing by, with a great and strong wind ripping the mountains and crushing rocks before Yahweh; but Yahweh was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake; but Yahweh was not in the earthquake.


    Additionally, I find the following evidence within the context of Mark 6:

    4. Just prior to walking on the water, Jesus is rejected by His hometown people on the Sabbath! 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, and among his relatives, and in his own household.”
    People that ask the following about Him:
    a. Who is this ‘man’ (if he’s merely a man, that is)?
    b. Where did He come from (Joseph/Mary/Nazareth or God)?
    c. Where does such wisdom come from?
    d. Yet His own people (that should have known Him best) rejected Him and brought Him up to be crucified because He wasn’t the kingly Messiah they were looking for.
    Sound familiar? 1 Samuel 10:19 But you today have rejected your God who always delivers you from all of your calamities and your distresses. You have said to him, ‘No, but you must appoint a king over us!’ So then present yourselves before Yahweh by your tribes and by your clans.”

    And then in Mark 6, Jesus sends out 12 apostles. Hmm, 12 apostles?

    5. Mark records the Fulfilled prophecy of John the Baptist coming as the Lord’s (OT) messenger:
    Mal 2 “For the Lord God of Israel says…3:1“Behold, I [God] send My messenger,
    And he will prepare the way before Me[God].
    And the Lord, whom you seek,
    Will suddenly come to His temple,

    6. Mark 6:45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.

    Gen 7:16 And those that came, male and female, of every living thing, came as God had commanded him. And Yahweh shut the door behind him. [Noah and his family]

    It seems to me, that there’s more going on here than I’ve ever really noticed before in Mark 6. The whole chapter seems like a “mini” retelling of the history of the world through Yahweh! No wonder He said to them on the boat “I Am”, don’t be afraid.

    Oh, and the “rest of the story”. When He got out of the boat on the other side of the Sea; …as many as touched it were made well.

    Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, O Yahweh, and I will be healed, save me, and I will be saved, for you are my praise.

  6. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the unitarian position as evidenced by this podcast and the responses given above. Each of the arguments made above are also evidence of Jesus as God’s unique representative. Unitarians assert Jesus’ uniqueness as God’s son (i.e. a category with a single instance). The trinitarian position seems to want to straddle the line by saying that Jesus is an instance of two categories, which is not ontologically sound.

  7. Hello Chris.

    It is generally considered as very unlikely by critical scholars that the “I am” statements were uttered by the historical Jesus on the grounds that they are two dissimilar to his sayings in the synoptic gospels.

    The strongest case for Jesus viewing Himself as God would be
    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37)

    because it seems odd that Mattew would JUST have made this up if he wanted to defend the deity of Christ by inventing utterances.

    It is by no means an airtight case, though, and liberal scholars rejecting the supernatural are going to dismiss it out of hand mainly because they view the prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction as extremely unlikely.

    The stakes are very high because if Jesus really stated He was God, we are all facing a choice, as C.S. Lewis famously argued.

    As I explained, the Skeptical reply that he might have been sincerely wrong does not work at all, because claiming to be the Creator of everything is far from being harmless like claiming to have some inexesting supernatural gifts.

    Liebe Gruesse in Christus / lovely greetings in Christ.

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