What Jesus claims in our reading should not be taken lightly! “’I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’” The text says that after Jesus made that statement that the crowd tried to stone Him! Why did they get so angry that they wanted to stone him? We need to realize in one short statement Jesus took the very title that solely belonged to God – He referred to Himself as the “I Am!” The claim of Jesus, therefore, was clearly recognized from the Jews’ perspective to be a blasphemous statement they could not tolerate. God took that title for Himself when He was talking with Moses at the burning bush. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” “In Hebrew, this name is YHWH, which is sometimes transliterated as “Jehovah.” So, God’s personal name revealed to Moses is “The I AM.” Jesus in our reading was saying, “I am the ‘I am.’ I am God.” This is the very statement John made when he opened his gospel!