We’re going to start looking at Jesus. We know Jesus as the man whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, but Jesus is God and is eternal. He didn’t start at birth. As He said to the Pharisees, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
I AM is the name of God. He is the existing one. Jesus called Himself the name of God and declared that he was around before Abraham, who had lived a couple thousand years earlier.
My understanding is that Jesus was the angel of the Lord who shows up here and there throughout the Old Testament. When the angel of the Lord appears to Moses in the burning bush, Moses asks His name. He says, “I AM.” The angel of the Lord was the I AM.
Before that, He appeared to Abraham in human form, when Abraham bargains with Him over the destruction of Sodom because of its sin. Jesus will again come to Abraham as the one crying out for him to stop and not kill his son, Isaac. Jesus speaks to Hagar and spares her son, Ishmael, because of His covenant promise with Abraham. Jesus provides them with the water they need to live.
We see Jesus as a warrior as well. The angel of the Lord wipes out the Assyrian army overnight. It appears to be Jesus who identifies Himself as the Commander of the Lord’s armies. He tells Joshua to take off his sandals because the place was holy, just like what God spoke at the burning bush. We see Jesus leading the armies of heaven in Revelation 19.
This is your God! He fights against the enemies of God’s people, whether the enemy may be sin, physical need, or persecutors.
Jesus, just like God, is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Here are some Scriptures to read. Don’t skip the verses. They are the best part. This is God Himself helping you get to know Him; and to know Him is eternal life! Always be seeking to get to know Him. Ask Him to help you get to know Him when you read His word.
John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Exodus 3:2-6 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Genesis 18:32-33 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
Genesis 22:11-12 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
Genesis 21:17-19 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
2 Kings 19:35 And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
Revelation 19:11, 14 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Lesson Point: Jesus IS and WAS and WILL BE. He didn’t begin when baby Jesus was born and laid in a manger.
Challenge Question: Are any of these ideas about who Jesus is harder for you to imagine than others (eternal from before time, warrior, appearing in the burning bush, etc.)?