Jesus, the I AM, calls for your attention

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.

  1. “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.
  2. “I am the Bread of Life” [John 6:35].  This statement is a metaphor directly connected to the miracle of feeding the crowds.
  3. “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.
  4. 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.
  5. “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.
  6. “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.
  7. “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.
  8. “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 am the bread

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.

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Jesus as the Bookends of John’s Gospel

Bookends hold upright and support a row of books from end to end.  Often times bookends are solid and sure.  John’s Gospel has literary bookends that hold upright the content of his writing.

John begins his Gospel with this intended purpose: Jesus Christ has always been and He will always be.  The Creator God is Jesus Christ.  In contrast to the other gospels, John begins from eternity past by saying, “In the beginning was the WORD and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” [John 1:1]

John concludes the gospel with this intended purpose: Jesus is and will always be human’s means for eternal life. The gospel of John is through and through a call to believe that Jesus is who He says He is.  For John says, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” [John 20:31]

All the content in-between the bookends of John 1:1 and 20:31 is proof that what John says about Jesus, the Son of God, is truth.  There is no other source of writing in the Scripture that so clearly and effectively declares Jesus Christ as God than the Gospel of John.  From beginning to end John helps us see the Jesus is God.

 

More on this in the weeks to come.