I Am: Seven Things Jesus Says About Himself
If someone asked you, “Who are you?”, what would you say? Jesus was asked that in many times. He wants us to know who He is, because He wants us to know Him well.
Note that He never says “I am like…” He says, “I am.” When He says, “I am,” He is saying He’s the original, the true, the first. Secondly, when He says, “I am,” He is making a claim of being God, and the people who first heard Him knew it. (See Exodus 3:14 and John 8:24 and 58-59) So every “I am” statement recalls His being God.
1) John 6:35–I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. Jesus has just fed the 5000 men. And they ask him for a sign so they can believe who He said He was. The expectation was that the Messiah would do a greater bread miracle than the manna God brought the ancient Israelites in the desert. Today, bread is a choice. Back then, it simply meant life, what sustained someone.
Jesus is saying this is what He is to us. He’s our sustenance. But we need to come to him, and believe, to partake of that sustenance.
In v. 32, Jesus referred to Himself as the TRUE BREAD. This means that He is calling Himself the original bread, the eternal bread. He came first, and when God created the world, He created bread to be like Jesus, not the other way around!
2) John 8:12 I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD! Yes, it mean He helps us understand spiritual things. But light also shows us where we are, and where to walk safely.
Do you need to see anything? Do you have a dark situation in your life? Do you need more understanding of a situation? Or a person? Go to where the light is! The closer we get, the more light we have to see, and there can’t be any darkness near Him!
3) John 10:9 I AM THE DOOR (or the gate). Jesus is saying that He is the only One who can save us, the door into eternal life. True, but it means even more, especially for those of us that have walked through that door. He says we can go in and out and find pasture. That’s Psalm 23 all over! That shows us the kind of safety and freedom He wants us to experience!
And this door goes both ways.We can go IN a door, and we can go OUT a door. If there is something we need to enter into, He is the way. If there is something bad we need to exit, He is also the way out. He wants us to be both safe and free!
4) Related to that is John 10:11 I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD. There were bad shepherds, just in it for the money. Good shepherds took care of their sheep, and the best ones were willing to die to protect them. Certainly it was a prophetic statement that He was going to lay His life down.
But He’s also telling us He wants to take care of us, and protect and supply us. If we’ve had people we couldn’t trust or were supposed to be there for us and weren’t, then we understand how valuable it is to have someone committed to having our back.
5) I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE (John 11:26)
This has been so coated in religious tradition that it’s hard to get to its power! Jesus said this as one of his closest friends had died, and the sisters were a little unhappy with him. And then he basically said, “See?” And he called Lazarus back from the dead. To God, death is conquered when we come to Him.
But we have to know what danger we were in before knowing Him. We were dead in our sins. There was no spiritual life in us. If we had died in our sins, we would have stayed spiritually dead. But now we are alive, and we stay alive past physical death. .
6) To Thomas’s question, (John 14:4-5) Jesus answers, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. (v. 6)
Not, I KNOW the way, I KNOW the truth, and I KNOW where to get life!
First of all, let’s settle on what it means for everyone. Jesus is the only way to heaven, the only way to have a relationship with God. He nails this down further in the next verse: No one comes to the Father but by me….
When Jesus narrows things down like this, we can think of it as legalism. But Jesus is pointing to the Source of Life constantly in his I Am’s, and doesn’t want us to go to places that don’t satisfy.
We’ve seen signs that say, Stay on the walkway. No different here–for our protection.
Jesus is saying, wherever you want to get to, I am the way there. What’s your call? What’s your godly plan? Jesus is the way we get there.
7) I AM THE VINE. First, John 15:5 He is the vine and we are the branches. We are the conduit for all the life that comes from the vine. We just have to stay connected. What happens to branches that break off or get cut off?
QTS: So what are we most attached to?
“Without me you can do nothing.” Not hard to understand intellectually. He is the source of life. We’re not. Yet when we abide, when we stay close and connected, we are able to express that life–and enjoy it ourselves! (It’s just challenging to our pride.)
A few verses earlier, Jesus says that pruning is necessary! If you haven’t noticed a lot of spiritual fruit in your life, check out what He says here. If you remain in me–abide, stick close, stay connected–we’ll bear fruit.(Jesus said the same thing about Himself: “I only do what I see the Father doing. And I am here to do His will.”)
Jesus asks all of us, after telling us about Himself: “Who do YOU say that I am?”
Let’s begin to let Him be to us all that He says He is: The God of the now, the source of life–now and eternally, the light that brings us understanding, the Person that sustains us, the One who chooses to have our back and protect us, the one who is the entrance to life, and the exit to death of all kinds, the only path to God, and the path to everything good and right and healthy.
How might our lives change after today–our relationships, our values, our thoughts, our hearts–if we chose to embrace even one of these “I am” statements to a greater extent from now on? Pick even one, and let’s discover more of Who this Jesus is!