Why does God refer to himself as I AM?

In the book of John chapter 8, Jesus was speaking to a group of Pharisees. At one point during the conversation, the subject of Abraham was brought up. Jesus declared to them. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”  At this saying they took up rocks to stone him. In Exodus, God appeared to Moses, and explained he would use him to deliver His people out of Egypt. Moses asked God, who shall I say has sent me, if they should ask? What shall I say is your name? God responded, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Why did Jesus use the name I AM to Moses, and centuries later to the Pharisees? In Biblical times a persons name was very important. It helped to describe and define an individual. Adam’s name can be interpreted as soil, earth, mankind, man. Eve would be living one, or source of life. Abraham is father of a multitude, or of many. How can God describe himself to man? Simply, God is our I AM. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).  Whatever need we have, God is our source, and has supplied our need by Jesus. If we are lonely Jesus declares, I AM your friend. If we are sad or depressed, I AM your fountain of life. If we are confused, I AM your wisdom. If we are sick or injured, I AM your healer. If we are angry or agitated, I AM your peace. Whatever lack we have, we simply need to fill in the blank. When we look to God as THE solution to our problems, we use more of the measure of faith he has given to every believer. All glory and honor go back to the source from which it came, and we can confidently proclaim, God truly is our great I AM.


  1. Thank you. We need to always return to this truth because it is so incredible. That the God of the universe would do this for us, because He is love.

  2. Dave Knickerbocker

    Nice post. It blows my mind that Jesus used both the past and present tense to describe himself. He was, and is, the same God who let his people out of Egypt. He can supply our needs today, whatever they are. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Hi Dave,
      Thanks for your comments. The same yesterday, today and forever.

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