“Are You then the Son of God?” This was the question asked by the council which consisted of both chief priests and scribes.
Jesus’ answer is simple and explosive: “You rightly say that I am.”
In other words, “You are right in saying that I am the Son of God.” But Jesus’ answer could also be construed to read: “You rightly say that I AM,” for in Greek it reads “eco eili” which some scholars believe should be read in contexts like this one as “I AM.”
In other words, Jesus is not only claiming to be the Messiah and the Son of God, however these might be understood by the 1st century Jews, but is also claiming to be Yahweh, I AM, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the New Testament, whenever Jesus says “eco eili” we don’t find people saying “Oh, that’s nice,” as if Jesus is just saying “I am he” or “I am the one you are looking for” (as most English translations have it.) What He is probably saying is I AM! And it is this statement that provokes rage and charges of blasphemy like no other statement Jesus makes.
And rage and blasphemy should be our responses, too, to one who makes himself equal with God Himself. Unless . . .
Unless, of course, He really is one with the Father and truly is the Son of God. Unless He really is I AM.
And since He is, and since HE IS, our response to Him should be one in keeping with whom He truly is.
So how should we respond to Jesus of Nazareth appearing in our lives and claiming to be the Son of God and God Himself?
We have already learned that it is easy to think that the Kingdom of God is not here yet because we don’t see it as a physical kingdom. In a similar way, it is easy to forget that the Son of God is really here, because we don’t see Him physically. The truth is that Jesus of Nazareth is no longer here on earth, and so we can’t see him physically.
But that is a far different thing than saying that He is not here. In verse 69 of Luke 22 Jesus Himself tells the Jewish leaders, and us, that hereafter (after the Ascension, that is) the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” From his throne in heaven, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I AM, reigns over His kingdom and is present with His people through the Holy Spirit.
I AM is here! This is the astounding truth that we wake to each morning but manage to forget. God is with us – Immanuel!
Yesterday, when Peter denied that he was a Christian, he said, “I am not” and denied His Lord.
But this morning, Jesus says I AM. The God who created the heavens and the earth in six days is in your presence this morning. The God who gave you life and made you in His image is with you this morning. The God who is worthy of all praise and glory and honor and blessing is here this morning and every morning.
When the Son of God appeared before the elders of Israel 2000 years ago, they accused Him of blasphemy, mocked Him, insulted Him, tortured Him, and crucified Him.
When the Son of God appears before you this morning, how will you respond?
Spend the rest of today answering that one simple question.
Prayer: Almighty God, the great I AM, I thank You that you reign in heaven above and praise You for who YOU ARE. Help me, in my weakness, to see You today in all things. When I see you, give me the grace to respond with adoration and praise, thanksgiving and joy, confession and repentance, cheerful dependence and obedience, and everything else that one created in Your image is able to return to You.
Point for Mediation: What are some ways you can help myself to remember God’s presence throughout the day? This is an exceedingly important question in your life.
Resolution: I resolve to remember today, throughout the day, the presence of the Son of God, I AM, in my life. I further resolve to respond the way I know I should.
Jesus Before Herod – U.S. Public Domain