Emphatic "I am" Statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John

What is An Emphatic "I am" Statement?

An emphatic "I am" statement is one in which the subject ("I") is strongly emphasized in the Greek text by stating it explicitly [using "ἐγώ" in addition to "εἰμί"] rather than implicitly [using just "εἰμί"]. There are 22 of these emphatic "I am" statements in the Gospel of John in which Jesus is quoted directly, and two in which Jesus is quoted indirectly through others. The chart below shows all 24 of these statements. These "I am" statements tell us who Jesus is according to his own statements.


Complete List of Emphatic "I am" Statements of Jesus

  Ref. Type of Predicate "I am" Statement of Jesus What This Tells Us About Jesus
1 John 4:26 Implied by context Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. He is the Messiah, which is called Christ.
2 John 6:20 Implied by context But he saith unto them, It is I [I am he]; be not afraid. He is the one walking on the sea, and drawing near to the ship. He does what Job says God alone does. Job 9:8
3 John 6:35 Metaphor And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. He came down from heaven to give life to the world. He satisfies those who come to him. He gives everlasting life to those who believe on him. John 6:33, John 6:40, John 6:47
4 John 6:41 Metaphor The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. He was sent by the Father so that those who believe on him may have everlasting life. John 6:39-40, John 3:16
5 John 6:48 Metaphor I am that bread of life. He is the fulfillment of what the manna in the wilderness merely represents. John 6:49-50, Deut. 8:3, Amos 8:11, Matt. 4:4, Luke 4:4
6 John 6:51 Metaphor I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. He speaks words of eternal life because he is the Christ, the Son of the living God. John 1:1, John 1:14, John 6:63, John 6:68-69
7 John 8:12 Metaphor Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. He gives spiritual insight and understanding to those who follow him.
8 John 8:18 Literal I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. He bears witness of himself, was sent by the Father, and is attested by the Father.
9 John 8:23 Literal And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. He is from above, and not of this world.
10 John 8:24 Implied by context I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. He is from above, sent by the Father, as he has said from the beginning.
11 John 8:28 Implied by context Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. He speaks what he has heard from the Father. Isaiah 43:10
12 John 8:58 None Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. He existed before he was born into this world. Exodus 3:14, John 1:1, John 10:14, John 10:30
13 John 10:7 Metaphor Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. He gives eternal life to those who believe in him.
14 John 10:9 Metaphor I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. He provides for those who believe in him. Isaiah 40:11
15 John 10:11 Metaphor I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. He gives his life for those who believe in him.
16 John 10:14 Metaphor I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. He knows those who believe in him, and they know him.
17 John 11:25 Metaphor Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: He gives eternal life to those who believe in him.
18 John 13:19 Implied by context Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. He is the one sent by the Father who will be betrayed by someone who has eaten bread with him. Psalm 41:9
19 John 14:6 Metaphor Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. He is the only way to the Father. He is the truth. He is the life.
20 John 15:1 Metaphor I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. He is the source of life for those who abide in him.
21 John 15:5 Metaphor I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. He causes those who abide in him to produce fruit.
22 John 18:5 Implied by context They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. He is Jesus of Nazareth, the person they are seeking.
23 John 18:6 Implied by context As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Jesus of Nazareth is the "I am" of Exodus 3:14. See also John 10:30.
24 John 18:8 Implied by context Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: He is Jesus of Nazareth, the person they are seeking.



Music: El Shaddai (Michael Card and John Thompson)

Site visits since 02/14/2008:  

alt : Play Midi File

Holy Bible

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict

Valid CSS!

Copyright 2013 Arlene Sheldon
All rights reserved

Last Updated: July 5, 2015