58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. – John 8:58-59
The Pharisees had just challenged Jesus’s previous statement. He said that Abraham rejoiced at Jesus’s coming, and they retorted that Jesus wasn’t even fifty years old, so how could He say such a thing? The verse above was the Savior’s response.
It’s a strange construction: “Before Abraham was, I am.” The natural way to say it would be, “Before Abraham was, I was.” But the word “was” denotes existence, as if to say that Abraham came into existence at some point. And before that point, we couldn’t say that the Son “existed”. God doesn’t “exist”. God is. He is the only One who didn’t come into existence at some point. He always has been and always will be. He is the only One who can call Himself “I AM” and Jesus says, “I am.” Jesus was making Himself equal with the Father.
How do we know this for sure? Look at the next verse. They pick up stones to kill Him. That was the Old Testament punishment for blasphemy. For someone to say he was alive before Abraham wouldn’t be blasphemy. It would’ve just been madness. But Jesus was clearly saying He is God, and that was grounds for being stoned–if He were lying or wrong. But He is God Himself. Before we all were, He is.
Our Savior is the great I Am Himself, and He is thus worthy of our worship, praise, and servitude.
Savior, we worship You!