58 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)

Analysis:  Jesus states “Very truly I say to you” often in John’s Gospel (1:51, 5:19, 6:26, 8:34, 10:1-7, 12:24, 13:16, 20, 16:20-23).  In our 8th chapter, comparisons are made between Jesus and the Jewish standard bearer Abraham (vv. 31 – 40) to whom all Jews are natural descendants, although not necessarily spiritual ones (Rom. 9:6-13, Gal. 3:6-16). Finally, the “I AM” declaration, something regularly reported by John (see above diagram, Rev. 1:8, 17) and elsewhere by other authors (Ex. 3:13-14, Isa. 43:8-15).  The previous is courtesy of my well informed concordance.

This much is certain, Jesus claims through “I AM” to have equivalent authority with God.  The abstract “I AM” signifies there will always be some aspects of God and Jesus’ being that is beyond our finite ability to understand.  To paraphrase Thomas Aquinas, God is “that which is beyond that which can be imagined.”

Aquinas is also credited with stating, in these “beyond” situations for those who believe “no explanation is necessary,” for those who don’t believe “no explanation is possible.”