John understood that the central mystery of faith is not Jesus'
words or deeds, but his identity. In the fourth Gospel, this
identity is presented through a series of unique "I am" statements.
In Exodus 3, Moses, the shepherd in hiding, is called by God to
lead Israel out of slavery in Egypt. He asks God for his name and
is given the phrase "I am who I am," rendered Yahweh in the rest
of the Old Testament and signifying that God is the self-existent
One that determines freely all things. Jesus takes up this holy
indicative, but fills it with concrete images drawn from earthly
existence—I am the Way, I am the Truth, I am the True Bread, I
am the Vine, I am the Light of the World, I am the Good
Shepherd, I am the Gate, I am the Resurrection and the Life, and
before Abraham was I AM.
Turn the "I AMs" into a confession of faith by substituting "You