Ok, so only two weeks drifted away since last post. Maybe there’s still hope I can catch up this year. :) Let’s jump right in. As we continue with Exodus 3, we find Moses still away from his Jewish brothers under slavery in Egypt, tending to his father-in-law’s flock.
1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
Exodus 3:1 (ESV)
We find in the New Testament that Jesus claims to be the ultimate shepherd over His Father’s flock.
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
John 10:14–16 (ESV)
We next witness the event of the burning bush, as God appears to Moses.
2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Exodus 3:2–6 (ESV)
As we have seen many previous times throughout Genesis, we again find the "angel of the Lord" appearing to someone. Notice again how the "angel" speaks as if he were God Himself, though this time in the form of a burning bush rather than the form of a man. So, while I see most other references to the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament as preincarnate appearances of Jesus Christ, this probably does not count as one, especially when Stephen does not directly point to Jesus in his retelling of the event in Acts.
30 “Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.
Acts 7:30 (ESV)
I did find one commentator had an interesting thought regarding this, how perhaps the angel of the Lord being in the burning bush was at the same time a preincarnate appearance of Jesus, as well as a type/picture of Jesus Christ in the sense of his fully divine and fully human nature. The event in Exodus shows us a natural tree and divine fire/presence of God together in an astounding way (as Moses saw), and type/picture is showing us how Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man when He was manifest in the flesh… an astounding thing for us all to witness. Something interesting to consider, I guess.
Moving on with Exodus, we find God telling Moses He has come down to deliver the Jews from captivity, through His sending of Moses back to Egypt.
7 Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
Exodus 3:7–10 (ESV)
In the New Testament, we find that God the Father sent Jesus Christ down to earth to free His people from spiritual captivity.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:14–17 (ESV)
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:10 (ESV)
Continuing with Exodus, we find God revealing His name to Moses.
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
Exodus 3:13–15 (ESV)
In John’s Gospel, we find that Jesus Christ revealed Himself to the Jews as God.
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 (ESV)
Before moving on, did you catch that? "Before Abraham was, I AM." Jesus wasn’t just making some grammatically incorrect statement. He was claiming to be God in the flesh, which is also the only explanation for their immediate response of attempting to stone Him to death. This passage, along with many others, flies completely in the face of those who think Jesus never claimed to be God.
Speaking of grammar, Jesus Christ in speaking to the Sadducees noted to them that grammar is important in the Word of God, as He refers back to Exodus (repetition on God’s part in 3:6 and 3:15) to demonstrate to them there would in fact be a resurrection of the dead.
18 And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” 24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”
Mark 12:18–27 (ESV)
Also note back in Exodus 3:15 that God said this would be His name forever, which they should remember throughout all generations, and definitely recognized it in Jesus’ own words in John 8:58-59. Hebrews reminds us that while God’s name never changes, Jesus Christ never changes either.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)
And, just for a minor rabbit hole to wrap things up today, let’s take a look at how obvious this becomes throughout the Gospel of John. John records a multitude of "I AM" statements of Jesus Christ. Here is a smattering of those where Jesus directly calls out the name "I AM," as you would find in the original Greek grammar. Note that many are translated to the more natural English phrases, "it is I" or "I am he." I’ll throw them in all caps just to more easily point them out.
20 But he said to them, “IT IS I; do not be afraid.”
John 6:20 (ESV)
24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I AM HE you will die in your sins.”
John 8:24 (ESV)
28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM HE, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.
John 8:28 (ESV)
58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
John 8:58 (ESV)
19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I AM HE.
John 13:19 (ESV)
5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I AM HE.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I AM HE,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
John 18:5–6 (ESV)
That last one always gets me… notice how "they drew back and fell to the ground" when Jesus said "I am he." Is it not clear that He wasn’t simply saying, "yeh, I’m Jesus… you found the guy you were looking for," but something far more miraculous occurred? Jesus called out His divine name, the name of God, and they had no recourse but to fall to the ground. After all, Paul tells us:
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9–11 (ESV)
John’s Gospel also records several other indirect statements of Jesus invoking "I AM" in some way. Here is a smattering of those statements.
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 48 I am the bread of life. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
John 6:35, 48, 51 (ESV)
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
John 8:12, 9:5 (ESV)
7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
John 10:7, 9 (ESV)
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
John 10:11, 14 (ESV)
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
John 11:25 (ESV)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 (ESV)
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
John 15:1 (ESV)
Jesus Christ’s claims of divinity are hard to miss once you start paying attention to what you read in God’s Word, and John’s Gospel makes so obvious you have nowhere to turn but to try to throw it out. After all, John set out to convince us of the truth, as he notes in chapter 20:
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 20:30–31 (ESV)
And, not only the Son of God, but that Jesus Christ IS God, as John points out right from the first verse of Chapter 1:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 (ESV)
May we all come to believe in Him, as Thomas finally did only after he had nowhere else to turn himself.
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:24–29 (ESV)
"My Lord and my God!" May we all make the same confession!
In summary, here is what we found in Exodus today:
- Exodus 3:1 – type/picture – Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd over His Father’s flock
- Exodus 3:2-6 – appearance? – possible preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ as the angel of the Lord
- Exodus 3:2-6 – type/picture? – Jesus Christ was both divine and human when manifest in the flesh
- Exodus 3:7-10 – type/picture – Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to deliver us from spiritual captivity
- Exodus 3:13-15 – appearance – Jesus Christ is God (I AM), as are the Father and Holy Spirit
See you around next time.Share on Facebook