In this new series, we will be looking at the “I am” statements of Jesus. These statements are only found in the Gospel of John as John writes to show Jesus as the divine Son of God! But oftentimes, they are overlooked or misinterpreted without further study. So what is the best way to look into them? The Bible! As we see in John’s Gospel, we count 7 “I am” statements of Jesus,
- I am the bread of life 6:35, 48, 51
- I am the light of the world 8:12; 9:5
- I am the door of the sheep 10:7, 9
- I am the good shepherd 10:11, 14
- I am the resurrection and the life 11:25
- I am the way, the truth, and the life 14:6
- I am the true vine 15:1
The “I am” statements describe who Jesus is
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, many misinterpretations are made in light of Jesus teachings. After all, “isn’t He the carpenters Son?” (Matt. 13:55). Or if you were one of the Pharisees, Jesus’ words would be rendered blasphemous and worthy of death, even to the point of killing Him on the spot! Jesus clarifies and stands by His Words in light of His authority given to Him by God the Father. Just Jesus’ baptism alone confirms this in a Trinitarian manner as the Holy Spirit descended like a dove with God the Father saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”(Matt. 3:17). We see a more direct statement in the Gospels of Mark and Luke, “YOU are my beloved Son, with whom I am pleased” (Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22, EMPHASIS MINE). Just that confirmation alone puts all objections to rest. But as we will see, Jesus extends that throughout His ministry with these statements.
The “I am” statements show Old Testament Continuity
Over the course of this series, we’ll see how these statements correlate to the Old Testament. Thus we recognize the importance of the Old Testament as part of redemptive history. For Christ is the fulfillment, the zenith, and the end goal. Seeing this fulfillment in Christ also demonstrates God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises. That He would send Christ, the offspring who would crush the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15), the true Abrahamic offspring who in all nations shall be blessed (Gen. 22:18), and the royal Davidic offspring whose kingdom is forever (2 Sam. 7). This is just to name a few but all are consistent with God’s promises in Christ. More specifically, we will see Old Testament Scriptures parallel to the “I am” statements.
How does it apply to us?
It is essential to have a biblical understanding of Jesus. For many today, He’s seen as a great teacher, a revolutionary, a paradigm of righteousness, or a historical figure. But as God incarnate? Or as the One who died for our sins? Or as the only way to God? That’s where many draw the line. But as we will see, these statements bear witness to who Jesus truly is. Anything that’s a denial or incomplete or false view of Jesus is not the true Jesus. Thus you would have no relationship with Him. But a true biblical understanding only deepens the relationship one has with Christ, because you learn of Him as He is according to His very Word! Therefore, it is important to take these statements into account.
Stay tuned for the first “I am” statement, “I am the bread of life”! Each week, a new statement will be released!
Questions to consider
- Do you remember reading these statements for the first time?What were your impressions?
- What did you do to learn more about them? Or if you haven’t, would you consider doing so?
- How did these statements deepen your relationship to Christ?
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