To get my attention, my daughters will repeat a phrase over and over again, “Daddy, daddy, daddy! Come see this. Come see this. Come see this.” It can be a new ballet twirl to Sophia getting a boo-boo. It can be highly annoying, but it is often a good of getting my attention.
When a phrase is repeated over and over again in Scripture it a clue that is is immensely significance. It is calling for your attention.
Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus makes many I AM statements. There are eight specific statements that John writes about.
- “I AM” [John 8:58]. Jesus makes a statement about his identity. He makes a direction correlation with himself and the covenant God [Exodus 3:13-14]. It is a statement of his the deity.
- “I am the Bread of Life” [John 6:35]. This statement is a metaphor directly connected to the miracle of feeding the crowds.
- “I am the Light of the world” [John 8:12]. This statement is a metaphor directly connected to the miracle of healing the blind man.
- “I am the Door” [John 10:9]. This statement is a metaphor directly connected to the parable, in which Jesus is the Door that the sheep must enter.
- “I am the Good Shepherd” [John 10:10]. This endearing statement is a metaphor directly connected to the parable, in which Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd that lays His life down for His sheep.
- “I am the Resurrection and the Life” [John 11:25]. This statement is a metaphor directly connected to the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.
- “I am the Way the Truth and the Life” [John 14:6]. This statement is a metaphor directly connected to Jesus claim of equality with the Father and way to the Father.
- “I am the True Vine” [John 15:1]. This statement is a metaphor directly connected to the parable of Jesus being the source of all spiritual fruit.
Each metaphor is jam-packed with theology. Each “I Am” statement of Jesus’ is incredibly vivid and practical for the salvation and Christian living. They are useful for counseling believers or aid as stepping-stones to help unbelievers cross the river of unbelief.
An “I am” statement that came alive to me this week was “I am the Bread of Life.” I met an Syrian refugee living in Chad, Africa. He was alone. No family except a niece who he was caring for indefinitely because her parents are missing. They were hungry and desperate. I was near a large religious center in the throngs of Ramadan, a time when alms giving is at its peak, but still these Syrians were without.
I had very little to give and very little to say. Frankly, I wish I was more prepared and more to give. In the moment, I was able help meet a physical need, but like Jesus I wanted to meet a greater need. John 6:35 came alive and I pray he will nourish this Syrian family inside out. He can. And he’s capable.
Jesus provides. Without him we are hopeless and hungry. Without him we are gospel-starved and faith-famished.
The real miracle wasn’t Jesus transforming a little boys lunch to feed thousands of people, but that he gives a glimpse that he is the Life that can transform the world.
That should arrest your attention today too! And that’s just what Jesus’ I AM statements are meant to do.