We are almost there! Hang in there for the culminating statements of Jesus: I AM this week and we will wrap up with Freedom next week.
- John 6:48 “I am the bread of life.”
- John 8:12 “The Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
- John 10:7 “So Jesus said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.'”
- John 10:11 “I am the good Shepherd, the good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
- John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.'”
- John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'”
- John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”
THE GREAT I AM
Jesus is the great I AM. But what does that mean? And what does that mean in your own life?
Sometimes to understand something, you need to see its other side. To appreciate the brightness of an Arizona day, you may have to first experience the overcast gloom of Seattle in the spring. To grasp the power of the light, you may have to spend some time in the darkness.
To understand the great I AM, we may first need to explore one we know better: ourselves. We can understand the majesty of Jesus in light of the peasantry of our own experience. And sometimes knowing who you are begins with understanding who you are not. For help with that, let’s turn to John the Baptist.
Read the following scriptures and identify who John claimed to NOT be:
John knew who he was not. He was not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet. He also knew his place.
What did John say about himself in John 1:27?
Yet John’s beginnings were far from ho-hum. Read Luke chapter 1 and summarize all the uniquenesses of John’s creation.
Why was Zacharias made mute?
Zacharias’ tongue was loosened after he did what?
So John was:
- son of a priest chosen by God to burn incense before Him
- miraculously conceived
- filled with the Holy Spirit, even in-utero
- described by angels
- so important his father wouldn’t be allowed to speak until after his birth
Yet John did not boast in these things. He knew his purpose and claimed to be nothing more than one fulfilling his calling. John understood the majesty of Christ in part because he understood his lowly position in relation to Christ.
Another would come later with a similar perspective.
Read Philippians chapter 3.
According to this passage, who are you in relation to Christ?
Who are you not?
What is He telling you?
I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE
There are 289 uses of the word “bread” in the Bible. And the ways it is used varies. From bread on the table to the Bread of Life, God uses bread in a number of ways.
Jesus is the great I AM. And He says He is the bread of life. Let’s take a look at some of the ways He fulfill that very identity.
Read Genesis 3:17-19. What do you learn about bread?
Because of the curse, Adam would have to toil and work and sweat to get bread for his table.
With Jesus as our bread of life, do we have to toil for eternal life? Or is it freely given?
Though we may need to work to put food on the table, we no longer need to work to earn favor with God. Jesus, alone, is our favor. And He alone cancels the curse and fills the eternal hunger.
Read Exodus 16:4. What do you learn about bread?
God provides bread from heaven for the desert-bound Israelites. He provides sustenance in dry places.
In what ways is Jesus the sustenance in the dry places of your life?
Read Acts 2:41-47. What role did bread play in the early church?
Breaking bread together is a sign of fellowship. You won’t often invite an enemy over for dinner. Yet inviting one to your table extends a sign of friendship and camaraderie.
In what ways is Jesus the fellowship link in your life?
Praise Him for all the ways He is your bread of life.
I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
Read John 8:12. What stands out to you?
What does it mean to you that you do not have to walk in darkness?
What does it mean to you that you (possess, carry, keep) the Light of life?
Read Matthew 5:14-16. What stands out to you?
How can you be the light of the world if Jesus is the light of the world?
It is a heavy responsibility to carry the name of Christ. He is the light of the world. And He is in us. Therefore, we are lights in the world. It is uncomfortable to realize that Christ has identified us in this way. It is disturbing to realize that He has us here to show the world who He is.
In what ways have you forgotten this responsibility? (in your work? your home? your actions? your desires? etc.)
Bring each before Jesus. Accept His comforting hand and ask for His guidance as you shine your light before men.
Meditate on Psalm 139:11-12.
I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP
Doors serve the function of both being the first point of welcome, but also the point of protection in a home.
Read John 10:7. What stands out to you?
What does it mean to you that Jesus is the door?
Read Exodus 12:21-27. What stands out to you?
Jesus is our door and our Passover Lamb. His blood protects us from the destruction we deserve. And the actions are to be visible signs, that when the children ask, you will tell them how God delivered you.
In what ways can you live to show Jesus as the door?
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD
For me, the most powerful aspect of this truth is found in John 10:14. Read it. What stands out to you?
Jesus knows you. And He loves you just the same. He knows the dangers threatening your peace, and He knows the enemy on the prowl. He knows the thoughts that assail your mind, and the heart that truly desires to serve Him even though you may not always understand how to do so.
He knows. Lay everything before Him. He knows already; and He loves you.
THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE
THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE
THE TRUE VINE
Using your concordance, look up scriptures to gain understanding of these concepts. It may be that resurrection stands out more to you than “life”, or maybe vice versa. It may be that truth is where you struggle and you want to know more about that. Or it could be that this concept of vine intrigues you, and you want to see all the different ways it is used throughout scripture.
Pick whatever is standing out to you and study it. You will be amazed at what Christ can show you.
Thank Him for everything He is.