A new episode in its series of bible videos entitled The Life of Jesus Christ has been released by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Possibly the most dramatic segment so far in this expanding series of scriptural stories, the new four-minute episode – “Jesus Declares: I Am the Light of the World” – is based upon the account given in John 8:12-58.

This scripture describes a tense and revealing interaction between Christ and some of the Pharisees, an intolerant Jewish religious sect of that day.  When Jesus, teaching in a public place, tells the people that He is the light of the world, and that those who follow Him will not walk in darkness, the Pharisees interrupt to accuse Him of lying.  Jesus replies that His Father bears witness of Him, and that His works – the mighty miracles and powerful teachings – were in fact taught to Him by His Father.  He again proclaims that He is the promised Messiah.  When His detractors further doubt Him, and boast of being Abraham’s children, Jesus tells them that the true children of Abraham believe in Christ, and He powerfully asserts once again that He is that Anointed One.

In the video, note especially the audible gasp arising from the crowd when, at the end of the scene, Jesus identifies himself as “I AM”.

The term “I AM”, used here in the King James and other English translations of the Bible, is based upon a Greek word – the same used in Ex. 3:14, where Moses asks the Lord the name by which He wishes be known – which identifies Jehovah.

The actual significance of His saying is effectively the same as if He had said, “Before Abraham was I, Jehovah”.

So breathtaking was this declaration of Christ at that time and place, that many of those present were moved to believe in Him.  The Pharisees, however, their homicidal frenzy aroused, took up stones with which to kill Him.