Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Am

Matthew 14:27-28
(27)  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."
(28)  And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."

(27) εὐθὺς δὲ ἐλάλησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦσ αὐτοῖς λέγων, Θαρσεῖτε, ἐγώ εἰμι· μὴ φοβεῖσθε. 
(28) ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Πέτρος εἶπεν, Κύριε, εἰ σὺ εἶ, κέλευσόν με ἐλθεῖν πρὸς σὲ ἐπὶ τὰ ὕδατα·

There may be something idiomatic here that I don't know about, but I found this passage somewhat striking.  If we translate this dialog literally we get, "Take heart; I am.  Do not be afraid."  Peter's response is, "Lord, if you are, command me to come to you on the water."

I may be reading too much into this, but I find it striking whenever Jesus uses the phrase ἐγώ εἰμι because it takes me to John 8:58, which is where we will be in a few months.  As Peter is trying to wrap his mind around who this Jesus is, he hears something that would likely take his mind to Exodus 3:14.  Jesus is telling Peter that he has nothing to be afraid of because "I am" is with you.

This is a time when I wished I had a good exegetical commentary handy.  If I have time at school tomorrow I'm going to look this one up in Baker.  It's definitely something to think about.

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