JESUS: The Great I Am



Joshua 5:13-15
"When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, 'Are you for us, or for our adversaries?' And he said, 'No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.' And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, 'What does my lord say to his servant?' And the commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, 'Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.' And Joshua did so.

Here we see Joshua, Moses' successor, preparing to take the nation of Israel into battle. As is often the case with God's ways, they seem strange to us. All males within the nation of Israel had been circumcised just prior to this event. They had to heal from the process as they were not ready to fight soon after this. Also, the manna that had fed them while they travelled in the wilderness for forty years had stopped falling. Human reactions might turn to apprehension and fear. God, however, does not work the way we do.

Here we see Jesus standing before Joshua with a sword drawn declaring himself to be Commander of the Lord's Army. We know this was Jesus because he accepted the worship of Joshua.

His response to Joshua is also different from what human senses might expect. Jesus did not come to follow Joshua, or his enemies. Jesus was here to take charge - to lead the army of God. The message to Joshua was clear, Joshua was the leader of the Israelites only as God's servant. Jesus is always to be in charge of his people!