The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 75 of 210
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8: 25 - 48.
pp. 181 - 186
The rendering of the N.E.B. of verse 24 is "If you do not believe that I am what I am
(ego eimi), you will die in your sins". These very important words occur in verses 28 &
58 and have more than one shade of meaning in this Gospel. The Lord uses them when
He identifies Himself to the disciples on the lake and says "It is I". In other instances, as
we have seen, He uses them of Himself in His relationship to the Father and the Father's
redemptive purpose, and this takes us back to God revealing Himself to Moses at the
burning bush, making known His purpose for Moses to go to Pharaoh. When asked for a
name, God said "Tell them that I AM has sent you" (Exod. 3: 14) and here the
Septuagint has ego eimi, (the One Who is). These words are repeatedly used in Isaiah in
the Greek of the Septuagint [Isa. 41: 4; 43: 10, 25 (twice); 46: 4; 48: 12] and
relate to God Himself, the great Yahweh or Jehovah. The Lord Jesus does not hesitate to
use these two words for Himself and if He is not God, then He must be a blasphemer.
Verse 25 is a difficult sentence in the original which has been rendered in varying
ways by translators. The answer to the question "Who are you?" has this sense, "even
that which I have also spoken unto you from the beginning", or possibly "primarily".
The N.I.V. has "just what I have been claiming all along", or F. F. Bruce, "I am what I
have been telling you all along". The Lord follows this by saying, "He Who sent Me is
reliable, and what I have heard from Him I tell the world" (26). Again the message goes
further than Israel. It is basic truth for mankind as a whole.
"They did not understand that He was telling them about His Father. So Jesus said,
`When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am and that I do
nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me. The One Who sent Me
is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him'. Even as He
spoke, many put their faith in Him" (8: 27-30, N.I.V.).
In 3: 34 we are assured that "He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God", and
this important fact is stressed constantly by the Lord Jesus. The student should consult
the following verses--8: 26, 28; 12: 49, 50; 14: 10, 24; 17: 8, 14. Christ's words
are God's words, and must always be treated as such. Faithfulness will not allow any
other attitude towards them.
As a result of these words of the Lord, the Evangelist tells us that "many put their faith
in Him", and so once again the main object of this Gospel was realized: "but these
(signs) are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that
believing ye might have life through His Name" (20: 31 A.V.). The lifting up of the Son
of Man (hupsoo) is used several times in John of the cross of Christ (3: 14; 8: 28;