++Some time ago, while preparing a lesson on the
Church: The Body Of Christ, I was studying John chapter 13. I happened
across verse three which begins,
“Jesus knew …”(vs 3) I mean I
remembered several instances where a writer would ascribe to Jesus that,
“Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said,”
(Matthew 9:4 MKJV) So It was clear
to me that Jesus was given knowledge and insight. Well, I wondered, did
that extend to personal knowledge. Did Jesus actually know about
Himself? He'd come as a baby, did He maintain memories of His previous
existence? There is that verse spoken in the Temple at age twelve,
“And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must
be about My Father's business?"
(Luke 2:49 NKJV)
So I wanted to find out what Jesus knew of Himself, particularly, His
nature and mission? I went looking for specific “I Am” pronouncements
Jesus made concerning Himself? What He knew must have been significant
for, of all the choices He might have taken,
… He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took
a towel, and tied it around Himself.
(vs 5) Next, He poured water into a
basin and began to wash His disciples' feet and to dry them with the
towel tied around Him.”
became a servant to all those at table – including Judas who was to
betray Him. He washed their feet! His knowledge enabled to accept,
without shame or embarrassment, whatever role was necessary.
As I completed reading verse three I also discovered that it wasn’t only
what He knew about His nature and mission but it was also Who He knew
and trusted implicitly, “Jesus knew that the Father
had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that
He was going back to God.” The Father could be trusted to return to
the Son anything Jesus entrusted to Him.
But, I still wanted to find out precisely what Jesus
testified about Himself. So I conducted a sword drill. I opened the
Gospels, Acts and Revelation searching out those instances when Jesus
made an “I Am” declaration that was not part of a verb of motion.
Honestly I was shocked by what I discovered. I had recalled several such
statements but had no idea of the breadth of His self-knowledge and
openness of His revelation.
With every research project there is at least one great surprise. This
effort yielded such a surprise when I reached John 10:36. (I do not
intend this as a theological statement of any sort just a simple side
note.) Here Jesus appears to make the claim,
“I am Son of God”.
Yet, as I read it more closely, it became clear that Jesus was only
restating what others reported that He said. And, curiously, as I was in
process of searching out other such “I Am” proclamations, I was pretty
certain that He never made such an explicit claim. As it turned out “Son
of God”, the one name we are most likely to apply to Him, is the one
name He never voluntarily claimed. Many hurled it at Him as an
accusation and some offered it as testimony. Even Christianity's revered
Fish symbol, meaning Jesus Christ, Savior, God's Son, claims it. But
only once did He explicitly affirm this status, and then only in
response to the High Priest’s question during Jesus' trial and then it
was obliquely stated.(Mark 14:60-64)
My thanks to Ken Palmer and folks at Life Of Christ for the work they
put into their Gospel harmony .pdf, posted on their website
It made my sorting so much easier. With this cover post I also include
the reference to the table of “I Am” statements I compiled.