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.

real questions: prove it?

Ned Anzers: God if you are real…why don’t you prove it?

If you were to draw a picture of God what would He look like? No one really knows what God looks like. Billions of people down through history have tried to paint God in the shape of an animal, as fire or water, in the stars or sun, as distant gods, inner gods, peaceful gods or fearful gods. Some even say there is no God. Almost everybody has a different view of God from each other. Wouldn’t it be nice if God decided to reveal Himself once and for all? Imagine what it would be like to see God, talk to Him, touch Him, sit down and eat with Him.

Jesus says something very amazing.

“Any one that has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:1-14) Many thousands of people saw, touched, talked and ate with Jesus. They kept record of it so that people would know that God does exist. As we read the Bible people tell us over and over again, “God does exist. We know because we met Him.”

Couldn’t these people make this stuff up? Jesus never claimed to be God, did He? In fact…

Jesus claims to be God more than once.

Jesus claimed to be equal with God got people mad (John 10:30-33). He also puts Himself on equal terms with God:

  • John 8:56-58 (Ex.3:13-14) “I AM.”—Jesus claims God’s name as His own.
  • John 8:12; 9:5 “I am the Light of the world.”
  • John 6:35, 48 “I am the Bread of Life.”
  • John 15:1 “I am the True Vine.”
  • John 10:10-11 (Ezek.34:11,14) “I am the Good Shepherd.”
  • John 11:25 “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
  • John 14:6 “I am the Way, the True, and the Life.”

These are stunning words from Jesus, but they are also dangerous words. It would be like going into Ross Aid Stadium and saying I am a Badger fan.

Anyone can claim to be God, can’t they? Yes. Muhammad Ali said, “I have wrestled with an alligator! I tussled with a whale! I handcuffed lightning, threw thunder in jail! Only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I’m so mean, I make medicine sick! I am the greatest!” Ali knew that if you are going to talk this way that you better back it up or else you will be the laughing stock of the world.

Jesus did what He said.

He controlled the weather (Luke 8:24 “stopped a storm”, handcuffed lighting and threw thunder in jail)

Impressive, but that couldn’t it have been a coincidence? Sure. Yet everyone around Jesus agreed that He did amazing things. He feed 5000 people with a boys school lunch box, He walked on water, He cured sickness, paralysis, blindness, deafness, and brought the dead to life. When Jesus walked the earth, it was as if He owned the place. Well, He did create it (John 1:1-4).

Couldn’t He have tricked people into thinking He was who He was? What Jesus did were not tricks. There was no David Copperfield or CGI. Jesus enemies could not expose Him as a fraud. Jesus did not use His power for wealth, status, or fame. In fact, Jesus was prophesied about hundreds and thousands of years before He was born (where He was born, how He would die, etc.). He fulfilled every prophecy.

Jesus did what He did to prove that God exists.

When Jesus walked the earth that He proved God is real.