He brings this conversation to a conclusion by clearly establishing his identity. When God spoke to Moses, God told him, “I am who I am” God was declaring his identity as an eternally self-created and self-existing being who has always existed, who currently exists and who will forever exist. When God calls himself “I AM” He is describing his nature as one who has always been and who will always be. Israel understood this name for God. Which is why Jesus used the words he used. He didn’t say, before Abraham was, I was. He clear identified himself as the eternal God by saying, before Abraham was, I AM. The crowd understood his words which is why their first reaction was to stone him. Pastor John Piper said, this is the “clearest, most forthright claim in this Gospel that Jesus is Yahweh, the God of Israel, the great “I AM” Jesus is proclaiming his identity as God. Twice in this passage the crowd asked the question, “who are you.” And Jesus kept identifying himself as one who could bring them out of darkness, free them from spiritual bondage and give them eternal life and they kept doubting or rejecting his claims. And so he speaks in a way that leaves no doubt to what he is claiming. I am the eternal God. Which is why Jesus can say he is the light of the world. Because he is God. He can say if we believe in Him we will not die in our sins. Because he is God. He can say His words and His truth will set us free. Because he is God. He can say if you abide in my words, you will not see death, because He is God. The words of Jesus are the words of the Father. When we abide in Jesus, we abide in the Father.