June 8, 2019
Today we continue and complete a series of studies titled The ‘I AM’s’ of Christ.
Part one was posted at http://www.churchatpv.org.au/jesus-i-am/ on 16thMarch 2019.
Jesus: “I Am” Read John 8:31-59.
What was the main point Jesus was explaining to the Pharisees in answer to their question ‘Who do you think you are?’ John 8:53.
Discuss John 8:58.
• Who did Jesus say He was?
• Why did the Jews try to stone Him? See also John 5:16-18, Exodus 3:13-15, Leviticus 24:10-16. Consider the violence intended to the person in stoning them to death.
• Why did they not see who Jesus really was?
2. Jesus’ 7 “I Am’s”
In the book of John, there are seven times in which Jesus says “I am.” Each statement gives us a glimpse into God’s character and what He’s like.
During Jesus’s ministry on earth, He said many things that challenged His listeners. In fact, He often spoke in parables, or, as we will see in these incidents in metaphors. He used figurative language to relate common objects or concepts with Himself or His Kingdom so that people could better understand His character and purpose.
Discuss each of the “I Am” statements below. It’s important as you do to read them in context so you form an accurate understanding of what Jesus was really saying.
As you discuss each statement first identify what the common object or concept is, how it relates to us and then what it says about Jesus’ character and purpose. EG: a. Bread represents our daily food for physical nourishment. Jesus as the ‘Bread of Life’ nourishes us in every way. He is the Creator and provider of our physical needs but also feeds, nourishes, sustains and satisfies our spiritual hunger and thirst.
a. “I Am the Bread of Life.” John 6:35, 48, 6:4, 51.
b. “I Am the Light of the World.” John 8:12, 9:5.
c. “I Am the Door.” John 10:9, 7.
d. “I Am The Good Shepherd.” John 10:11, 14.
e. “I Am the Resurrection and the Life.” John 11:25-26.
f. “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” John 14:6, Acts 4:12.
g. “I Am the Vine.” John 15:1, 5.
As you considered and discussed Jesus’ 7 “I Am” statements was there anyone in particular that spoke to you? How do you then intend to apply that to your life?
4. Further Reading.
“1. The Bread of Life.
Then Jesus declared, “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)
Jesus had recently fed the 5000. Incredibly some were still asking for a miraculous sign to help them believe He was who He claimed to be. They brought up the manna their forefathers had eaten in the wilderness (Exodus 16:13-18), and that established the context for this statement. I believe Jesus was saying the manna was meant to be a model of the Messiah. Whoever partakes of Him will never again know spiritual hunger. Like the manna, everyone who seeks Him will find Him (Matt. 7:7-8), but each of us has to find Him for ourselves. No one else can receive Him for us, nor can we receive Him for anyone else. We all get an amount sufficient for our salvation. No one is lacking, none of Him is wasted.
As for our thirst, remember how Jesus told the woman at the well that the water He offered would cure her thirst forever. (John 4:13-14) And then on the last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. (John 7:37-39)
The Psalmist wrote, As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1) In Jesus, our spiritual hunger is satisfied, and our spiritual thirst is quenched. Once we have the Holy Spirit, our search for spiritual fulfillment comes to an end, and we never need any other sustenance. The God-shaped hole in our heart is finally filled.
2. The Light of the World.
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. When we take the time to learn and apply these truths in faith, we discover that the old adage is true. Whatever the spiritual question, Jesus is the answer. I’ll say it again. Whatever the spiritual question, Jesus is the answer.
3. The Gate.
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. (John 10:9)
This is a reference to the Kingdom and recalls the words of Psalm 23:2, “He makes me lie down in green pasture.” Salvation is found through Jesus, He is the gate to the Kingdom, and no one can enter except through Him (John 3:3, John 14:6). Having entered through Him, we will have the freedom to come and go as we please, dwelling in a state of peace in the midst of plenty. Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6).
4. The Good Shepherd “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
No one expects sheep to be responsible for themselves. Owners hire shepherds for that purpose. A shepherd’s job is to accept responsibility for the safety and well-being of his flock. Most shepherds only take that to the point where it would threaten their personal safety, rightly deciding that their life is worth more than that of a sheep. 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.
5. The Resurrection and the Life. 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)
This is an amazing statement. The Lord had already said that whoever believes in Him would not perish but would have eternal life (John 3:16). Here he provided more detail, saying that even though a believer experiences physical death, he will still have life. He was referring to the resurrection of those who die in faith. And then He said there would be some would never die, but would pass from this life directly into the next one. If we didn’t already know about the rapture, we wouldn’t see this, but since we do we can understand that He was talking about that one generation who will be alive when He comes for the Church, and will receive eternal life without dying first. And once again the Lord confirmed that the single qualification for eternal life is to believe that His death paid the entire price for our sins.
6. The Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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. As Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Jesus is the only remedy God has provided for man’s sin problem. He is the only way to eternal life. This is the truth of God’s Word.
7. The Vine.
“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. Of course, a non-believer cannot bear fruit, and even after we are saved, believers are not automatically fruitful. But if we yield our life to Him, (Romans 12:1-2) and respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit He sent to guide us (John 14:26) we can bear much fruit.
If not, our lives will be unfruitful, because without Him we can do nothing of spiritual value. We’ll still be saved, but we’ll be of no more use to the work of the Kingdom than the unfruitful branches the gardener discards at pruning time. Paul confirmed this in 1 Cor 3:12-15. The unfruitful believer will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
Fruitfulness is not a matter of success or failure from a worldly standpoint. It’s a matter of motive. Many of us will see some of our greatest accomplishments burn in the fires of judgment because we achieved them with wrong motives, like self-satisfaction, or recognition from others, or even a desire to “make points” with God. Only those things that are prompted by the Holy Spirit and where our only motive is gratitude for all we’ve been given will survive. (1 Cor. 4:5)”