God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28).
John 8:12 is the first of four occurrences of egō eimi in the chapter. “Egō” is a nominitve first person pronoun and is correctly translated “I.” “Eimi” is the first person singular indicative active of the verb to be. It carries an understood subject of “I.” The presense of “egō” before “eimi” is unnecessary. The nominative of personal pronouns is usually omitted except when emphatic which is why it occurs here and throughout the rest of John 8. Jesus is emphasizing that he was indeed the light of the world.
“Egō eimi” occurs again in verse 18.
I am [egō eimi] one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
Although there is no Greek word for “one,” it is not in italics in the KJV. It is however, a good translation of the phrase “egō eimi”. To communicate the emphasis that “egō” intended the translators added one. Jesus was “the one,” “the light of the world,” “the Messiah,” “God’s only begotten son.” They did not recognize God as his Father, the one who was working with Jesus to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.
Look at how this parenthesis in verse 20 brings our attention back to where this drama was going on. He is in the treasury, in the temple, still teaching so the people can hear. Everyone who was there is watching this confrontation.
Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. 23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
That is how you handle the accuser when he comes. You recognize the source of the accusation. It is from the devil. Let the people know you do not “buy” it. That is what Job did. He said, “I am not inferior to you” (Job 12:3; 13:2). He said you are “forgers of lies” and “physicians of no value” (Job 13:4). We must say that we are, what the Word of God says we are, and oppose and refute the accusation.
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he [ego eimi, I am the one], ye shall die in your sins. 25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
In verse 24 the phrase “I am he” is in the Greek egō eimi. The translators added “he” as indicated by the italics for emphasis, but I prefer the rendering in verse 18, “I am the one.” They did not believe that he was “the light of the world,” “the Messiah.”
Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he [egō eimi, I am the one], and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Jesus taught the people the Word of God and when he needed more information he got it. He is walking by the spirit, laboring together with his Father. He walks on the Word and when he needs revelation to bring it into focus for a specific situation, he gets it. He always upheld the integrity of God’s Word and the right of God’s people to hear it.
Just think how many years the Pharisees had belittled and condemned these people, and now they see Jesus speaking God’s Word and putting them in their place. It must have electrified them. They saw Jesus in action and believed what he said. They saw the way in which he handled God’s Word. They saw the way in which he loved and stood for the integrity of God’s Word, loving God’s people.
As he spake these words, many believed on him. 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
If we do not have freedom, then we are not continuing in the Word. When we are continuing in the Word, we are free. We use our freedom to pursue our relationship with our loving heavenly Father.
He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. 48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? [Look at their response to someone who stands for God. They accuse him of being possessed, having a devil.] 49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. 50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. 51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. 52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. 53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? 54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? [He never said he saw Abraham. He said Abraham saw him; he saw his day. Abraham foresaw the seed that God promised him, Jesus Christ.]. 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. [“I am” should be translated “I am he” or “I am the one.”]
Egō eimi should be translated “I am the one” consistently all the way through this account. Jesus was telling them he was the one God chose, the Messiah, the light of the world. Before Abraham was the one who taught you the way of the Lord, now I am the one. This is the fourth occurrence of egō eimi. In the previous three places it was translated with “he” or “one.” Now, when they get to verse 58, they translate it without “he” or “one.” It should have “one,” like the rest of the verses should also.
Before it was Abraham and the prophets to which they looked to learn. Now they had to look to Jesus. Abraham looked to Jesus, the seed God had promised him, when he was alive, the Pharisees ought to follow his example and look to him, now. Before Abraham was the one who taught you the way of the Lord, now I am the one.
Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
God took care of him and delivered him because his hour had not yet come. Jesus is the light of the world, and as we follow him we will not walk in darkness, but we will have the light of life. He was the one of whom the scripture spoke, and he did what the scripture declared he would do. He is our example, and he walked by the spirit, with his Father, as God’s son, working in the “family business.” That is our right, too, as God’s sons. We work together with Him. He is our Father. We are His kids. We are moving His Word around the world, so let us enjoy it.
Let us have the same thrill in our heart and life that Jesus Christ had. Let us reach out to people who need it and uphold the integrity of God’s Word and hold it forth to individual people who have need. God sent us to minister and to bless. So, let us do our utmost for his highest.