Here goes an amateur bible study of one of the greatest verses in the New Testament (if not the greatest one).
58: Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
The secret to this passage is that “I am” is half of God’s name in the Old Testament. “I am” is God’s name in Hebrew. When Moses asked God what his name was, he said it was “I am that I am,” or in other words “I am the one who is.” God says to call Him “I am.”
In verse 58, when Jesus said that he lived before Abraham and that “I am,” he is claiming to be not only the Son of God, but god himself.
I love latter-day revelation how it tells us that “I am” of the Old Testament is really Jesus Christ. Sometimes, “I am” is translated as “Jehovah.” Because it’s some European method of saying “Yahweh,” which is how you say “I am” in Hebrew. Ancient Jews thought it was a sin to think or write all the letters that make up the word “Yahweh,” or “I am.” For it is God’s name. The God who Jesus would call “Father.” Our Heavenly Father. They thought it was outrageous when Jesus claimed to be the Eternal Father that Isaiah prophesied he would be. Perhaps the Jews had forgotten that scripture. Latter-day Saints are uniquely Christians in believing that the Heavenly Father of the Jews was really Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I think it makes us extra Christian to believe that Jesus was greater than other religions would have you believe. The beginning of John’s Gospel claims that everything that was created was created by Jesus. And the 58th verse of the 8th chapter drives home this idea that Jehovah is Jesus. Why won’t other religions accept this biblical truth?
Read just a few verses back and you’ll hear Jesus claim that Abraham was joyous of the day of Jesus. He could see this future Messiah in the days of the Old Testament. Perhaps Abraham knew that Jehovah was the Messiah.
At the end of verse 58, Jesus is claiming that He existed as God before Abraham was even born. Did Abraham know that the Messiah came before him even though he would be born as a human after him. Did he know that the Messiah was the Firstborn spirit child of God? The one who helped him create the heavens and the earth? I testify to you that just like our Heavenly Father is literally the father of our souls, Jesus, the Son of God, is our spirit brother as we are all children of God. We should love him like one loves their eldest brother. And, ultimately, as much as one loves their dad.
John 8:58. Beautiful verse if you understand “I am.” It confirms so many Gospel truths revealed in latter days.