“The high priest then asked Jesus of His disciples, and of His doctrine. Jesus answered him,
‘I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou Me? Ask them which heard Me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.’
And when He had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, ‘Answerest Thou the high priest so?’ Jesus answered him,
‘If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou Me?’
Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.” John 18:19-24 (KJB)
“Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said unto them,
‘Whom seek ye?’
They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus saith unto them,
And Judas also, which betrayed Him, stood with them. As soon then as He had said unto them, ‘I am’, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
Then asked He them again,
‘Whom seek ye?’
And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus answered,
‘I have told you that I am…’ John 18:4-8a (KJB)
There are some reading this who may take exception when I have left out the italics words of “He” in the text. I believe that to be the truer reading of the text. Jesus simply said, “I am”.
There are many who want to argue and debate the Deity of Jesus Christ. For my part there is no argument. Many times the Pharisees took His words to mean that He was claiming deity, and they accused Him of blasphemy; and if He were not Deity, then the charge would not be without merit.
I just want to point your attention to a few thoughts in this text:
- When Jesus asked these men “Whom do you seek?” He was thinking of His disciples; which is evident by the rest of verse 8 through verse 9 of this chapter; Jesus getting their clear words as to whom they are after;
- When Jesus answered their question there is clear evidence of His power and authority; these men, evidently even Judas went backward and fell down to the ground;
- There are other “I am” statements in the gospel of John; “I am the Light of the world”(John 8:12), “I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35, 48), “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11), “I am the Door” (John 10:9); for a few.
- You can argue and debate all you like, but Jesus identified Himself as the One who appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-18), and if Jesus was not this God incarnate, then He lied, and cannot be trusted for anything.
As I prepare this I see quite clearly that Jesus could have stopped these men; He could have stopped the whole Roman army, and all the rulers of Rome from carrying out the crucifixion; but He would not. He must fulfill the Father’s will for the redemption of Adam kind. He is the Son of God, and He is God the Son.
He chose to die for our sins that we might live. Hear Him. Believe Him. Trust Him.