Wednesday, September 17, 2014

 

Something New: Seven “I Am” Statements of Jesus

One of the best things about reading through the New Testament with a group of 10th grade boys is that I get to learn right along with them. I’ve found over the years that I can still learn new things even when I read something in the Bible that is familiar to me. This was the case when we recently read the Book of John and all of the “I am” statements by Jesus caught my eye.

In the Old Testament, “I Am that I Am” is the common English translation of the response God used when Moses asked for his name. “God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14). No doubt, Jesus is communicating through John that Jesus is in fact God, the great I Am.

Is Jesus the great “I AM” of your life? That is the most important question. He also wants to be your “I Am” in seven other distinct ways. Here are those seven “I Am” statements.

1. “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35). In other words, just like manna from heaven, Jesus is the One who spiritually sustains us.

2. “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Literally this means that those who join Jesus as one of His followers will not be ignorant of spiritual matters but will have the power of understanding especially of the spiritual truth that brings eternal life. In Him we gain spiritual understanding and wisdom for living.

3. “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9) Salvation is found through Jesus, He is the gate to the Kingdom, and no one can enter except through Him.

4. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) A few would be willing to risk their lives to protect their sheep, but our Shepherd knowingly and willingly died to save us, because there was no other way. Jesus is our good shepherd and He paying our entrance fee with His life.

5. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26) Here we learn that even though a believer experiences physical death, he will still have life.  Whether we die before the rapture or are taken live in it, He has guaranteed our eternal life with God.

6. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) There is no other way into the presence of God than by accepting the Lord’s death as payment in full for our sins. Jesus is the only one who can do this for us

7. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) It’s important to understand that salvation is not a fruit bearing event, so in this statement Jesus was talking about our life after we’re saved.  This statement reveals that for the balance of our life on Earth, the things we do in His strength, out of gratitude for what He’s done for us, are the only things that matter.



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