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Sunday, April 8, 2018 am

JESUS SAID, “I AM”

“I am”.  It is a first-person identifier, meaning the one who speaks is taking ownership of something.   It is often used when one is making claims about themselves.  While Jesus was upon this earth, He made a number of claims about Himself.  They give us insight into who He was, and as Christians each one shows how He can meet our spiritual needs.  This is why we ought to believe and put our trust in Him.

This morning, I would like to notice some of the “I am” claims made by Jesus.  Our primary focus will be in the book of John, as he is making a case for Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31).  It was also what he professed in his preamble (John 1:10).  So let’s get started. 

 I.                     John 6:35 – “I am the bread of life”

a.       Occasion: Jesus has fed 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.   The next day we find the crowds seeking Jesus again.  He notes the reason some were following Him was to be fed again, and not for the learning.   He calls for them to labor not for food that perishes, but the food that endures to everlasting life which He would provide (vs. 34).  This is very similar to the promise of living water to the Samaritan woman in John 4: 10.  We then find our statement.
This leads to a discourse where Jesus declares that He is the living bread (John 6:51) and in difficult language He notes that if they are to have everlasting life, they must eat His body and drink His blood.  His point was that they must absorb Him into every aspect of their lives.
Some were unwilling to do that and followed Him no more. 

b.       Application: He is our sustainer.  Just as we need food to sustain us daily, we need Him to sustain us spiritually. That means He becomes a part of who we are.  Philippians 1:21 where Paul said, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” 
Galatians 2:20 also summarizes this, It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…”
This is also why we can take consolation in His promise as recorded in Matthew 28:20

 II.                   John 9:5 – “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5)

a.       Occasion: Jesus gives sight to a man born blind.  He declares that in giving him sight, we see the works of God revealed in Jesus thus declaring that He is the hope we need.

b.       John often addresses the subject of light – light and darkness are contrasted. 
John 1:5 & 3:19 – both declare how darkness did not comprehend His light.
John 1:9 notes that Jesus was the “true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. Previously (John 8:12), Jesus had declared Himself the light of the world in contrast to the spiritual blindness of the Jewish leaders. I believe that the response and actions of Jesus as recorded in our text with healing the blind man, were to physically illustrate His spiritual power to give us light.
John 12:35-46 again Jesus appeals to Himself as the light, being with you only a little while longer.  They are compared to the goodness provided by and in God with the evil of this world.  Those who reject God are rejecting the light. 

c.        Application: Jesus is our source of light in this dark world.  We need His guidance to navigate through the darkness around us. 
AND let us not forget that we are to be light – Philippians 2:15, Matthew 5:14-16

 III.                 John 10:7, 9 – “I am the door”

a.       Occasion: We are not certain, but Jesus continues to teach.  Here He make analogy to a sheepfold and how He is the ONLY true access.  Jesus declares that one needs to enter a sheepfold by the door.  To go any other way is to be a thief and a robber.  TRUE sheep follow the shepherd who enters by that door.  Then Jesus declares that He is the door of the sheep.  He notes that ALL who came before are thieves and robbers but rejected by the sheep.  Then He declares that He is the entrance and all who go in through Him will find salvation. 

b.       The point Jesus is making is to warn about those teaching a different way.  Many of the Jewish leaders had corrupted the truth in the LOM and about Jesus.  Those following them were in danger. 

c.        Application:  Jesus is our ONLY door to heaven.  Acts 4:12 declares there is no other name by which we might be saved.  Galatians 3:27 notes that baptism puts us into Christ.    IF want to get to heaven, it will be through Jesus. 

 IV.                 John 10:11, 14 – “I am the good Shepherd”

a.       Occasion: The same, unspecified occasion Jesus continues His discourse.  He declares He is the good shepherd.  He genuinely cares about His sheep (others) and will even give Himself for them.  He contrasts this with the motives of the selfish.
But later in the chapter we find Jesus at the Feast of Dedication in winter where He is asked to declare plainly if He is the Christ.  He proceeds to discuss being a Shepherd and His sheep. His sheep, wherever they are, will listen to Him.  To refuse to hear Him is to reject Him. 

b.       Application: He leads us like a shepherd.  1 Peter 5:4 describes Him as “the chief shepherd.”  We MUST listen to our Lord and let Him lead us.   This analogy was familiar to Israel.  Psalm 23 gives us a good picture of this.  Jesus loves us and cares for us as a good shepherd would do for His flock.   Jesus even said in our text, in vs. 17-18, that He lays down His life for His sheep.  Later in the letter we will read of Jesus saying, Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13).  Let us in this analogy realize how much He loves us. 
BUT also, let us resolve to HEAR the True Shepherd.  We must listen to Him (Matthew 7:21-23).

 V.                   John 11:25 – “I am the resurrection and the life”

a.       Occasion: John 11 records the events surrounding the death and resurrection of Lazarus, a dear friend of Jesus.  In the midst of a discussion with Martha, Lazarus’ brother, Jesus makes this statement.  He then proceeds to raise Lazarus who had been dead now for 4 days.

b.       He was continuing to prepare His disciples for His death.  By raising the dead, Jesus demonstrated great powers and should have given hope as He continually reminded His disciples that He would be raised from the dead. 

c.        Application: He gives us hope beyond this life.  If He arose, so will we.  There is so much attached for us attached to the resurrection of Jesus.  It is the foundation of our hope and faith.  It is the foundation and exclusivity of Christianity.  That is why it is addressed continually in the NT.  There are more than 300 verses that deal with the resurrection. 
1 Peter 1:3-5 – we have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus.   As Paul summarized in 1 Corinthians 15:19, If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.  This comes after declaring if there is no resurrection our faith is futile and we are still in our sins.

 VI.                 John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

a.       Occasion: Spoken as Jesus is teaching His apostles (cf. Matthew 26:20) on the night of His betrayal.
 In the midst of His teaching He encourages His disciples to not lose heart even though He was about to leave them.  He gives them further instructions that would lead them back to Him and a promise that He would return.  In the midst of declaring where He will go (to heaven to prepare a place for them), He declares 3 more statements about who “I am”

b.       Application: Jesus is our only ACCESS to the heavenly Father.  And that means access to eternal life in heaven.
The way – He is the ONLY path to God – Ephesians 2:18 (see analogy of the door above as well)
The truth – His message IS truth.  It is the only message that bring salvation – Acts 4:12, John 8:32
The life – His is a message that gives us eternal life – 1 John 5:11-12 (see above point)
All of these have been alluded to in previous declarations.

 VII.               John 15:1 – “I am the true vine”

a.       Occasion: Still a part of Jesus teaching His apostles as above.  Here Jesus is describing how they need to keep abiding in Him.  He says, “I am the vine and you are the branches” and calls for them to bear fruit 

b.       Application: We need to abide in Him, and we need to be producing fruit. (We have recently addressed this application, so here we will just mention it).  Just be reminded our hope is found IN Him – Ephesians 1:7. Colossians 2:6-7 calls for us to “walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…”

 VIII.             John 8:24 – “If you do not believe that I am He you will die in your sins”,

a.       Occasion: Jesus continues to interact with both disciples and skeptics, as well as His opponents.  He makes a bold declaration as recorded in our verse.  That the religious leaders understood what He was claiming is evident by the conversation that ensues. It leads to an even bolder declaration in verse 58, where Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM. That expression traces itself back to Exodus 3:14 where God was speaking with Moses at the burning bush and declared “I AM WHO I AM”.  They understood clearly Jesus was claiming deity and thus they took up stones to execute Him.   But He passed through the midst of them. 

b.       Jesus frequently alluded to His deity.  It is a worthwhile study to consider the claims He made and how He proved these things.  John 8:23 – “I am from above” “I am not of this world

Mark 14:62, Luke 22:70 – when asked at the Jewish trial to declare plainly if He was the Son of God, He said, “I am”.  Worthy of note is that this was ONLY when He was ready to declare such.

c.        Application: Jesus IS God.  Part of the triune God of scripture.  He has declared His deity, as well as His love for us.  He made provisions so that our sins could be forgiven and we might have hope beyond this life.  That is why we should:

                                                   i.      Look to Him to sustain us

                                                 ii.      Look to His light for guidance and let is shine

                                                iii.      Look to Him as the ONLY door to salvation

                                                iv.      Look to Him as a shepherd to guide, guard and protect us through this life.   

                                                  v.      Look to Him in hope of our resurrection, meaning that the sacrifices of this life are worthwhile.

                                                vi.      Look to Him as the ONLY way through which we can come to the Father

                                              vii.      Look to Him as the Vine in which we must abide and bear fruit.

 

When we consider the “I am” claims of Jesus, we find our source of eternal hope.  And that is why as He said in John 13:13 – “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am”, we ought to learn from Him and make Him Lord of our lives.  What does He mean to you?  Think about it!