God is our eternal Creator and there is no other like Him; therefore, there was no reason for Him to have a name. When asked by Moses what he should call God, the response he got was to simply say I am. There is no reason for God to have a name to differentiate Him from any other because there is no other.
“Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:13-14 (NIV)
Later in the book of Isaiah God again uses the term “I am” to identify Himself.
“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” Isaiah 43:10 (NIV)
Again in the book of Isaiah, God uses “I am” to identify Himself and qualifies His choice of words by stating there is no other God.
“Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.” Isaiah 46:9 (NIV)
This is the reason the Jews believed Jesus was claiming to be God, because He frequently used the “I am” phrase to identify Himself.
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” John 8:28 (NIV)
In the book of John, Jesus takes the “I am” phrase and uses it to identify Himself in seven distinctly different ways. Understanding the connection of the “I am” phrase to God Himself is an important distinction and serves as a clear reminder that Jesus is in fact claiming to be God.
“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 (NIV)
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NIV)
“Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.” John 10:7 (NIV)
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 (NIV)
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25 (NIV)
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV)
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” John 15:1 (NIV)
In the final moments of the ministry of Jesus, just before He is captured, and about to give up His life, Jesus makes one more pronouncement of His divine name, revealing His power, and His ultimate victory.
When the soldiers, officials, and the traitor Judas, came looking for Jesus, He wanted them to know who He was. He was ready to fulfill His mission to shed His blood for our sins. And the power of the words, “I am” knocked the soldiers to the ground. Jesus is God.
“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.” John 18:4-6 (NIV)
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