Day 2: Εγω Ειμι

Scripture Reference: Mark 6:50

In English (ego emi) this short phrase means “It’s me” or “It is as you say” or more literally, “I am” or “Me, me”.  It is the first person singular, present tense of the verb “to be”.  It is used in John’s gospel 21 times, most famously in the seven “I AM” statements (“Before Abraham was, I AM” – ego emi).  In the gospel of Mark, it is used more sparingly and as an expression of self-identification.  In Mark 6:50 as Jesus walks on water, Jesus calms the terrified disciples by stating, “Take heart, it is I (ego emi).  Do not be afraid.”  And again in Mark 14:62 when questioned by the Jewish High Priest as to whether he was the Son of the Blessed (the Son of God), his first words of response were “I am” (ego emi).  These were the same words used by Yahweh-God in the burning bush with Moses, when Moses asked God who he was and how he should identify who was sending him to confront Pharaoh and to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.  The response to Moses was to tell the people, “I AM has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14).

Admittedly there is some mystery in these words, but Mark mentions Jesus words at key moments where the salvation-drama was high, the contention of his enemies great, the fear of his followers, intense.  Jesus could have answered many ways, but he always seemed to answer, in one way or another, “It is really me – I am truly present”.  In Christ, God is with us.  More than anything else, in a time of prayer and in every other trial of life, this is what God’s people need to know and lean upon ever more deeply, ever more fully.  The bedrock of biblical faith isn’t, “I am somebody” coming from my own lips, but rather, “I Am” coming from His.

-Pastor Ken Keene