Jesus makes eight explicit “I am” statements which are recorded in the gospel of John. At that time, in that place, in that context, these comments would have had a much more obvious meaning to their hearers than may be immediately obvious for us. Yet, even two thousand years later, these statements remain powerful, and provocative.
Think about comments that public figures make about themselves. Mohamed Ali, the boxer, was fond of saying, “I am the greatest”. For a very brief period of time, in the sport of professional boxing, that may have been true. If he was claiming to be the greatest person who ever lived, in all contexts, then his statement was certainly not.
Early 20th century author Zora Neale Hurston said, “Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How anyone can deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me.” Maybe she thought she was the greatest? But still the answer is ‘No’ she wasn’t.
As we start our new Sunday morning series from the book of John, we will hear of the 8 different conversations in which Jesus makes very specific statements about himself. Jesus does not just claim to know these things, or explain these things. He blatantly claims that He is these things.
John 6.35, 48: I am the bread of life
John 8.12, 9.5: I am the light of the world
John 8.58: Before Abraham was, I am
John 10.9: I am the door
John 10.11: I am the good shepherd
John 11.25: I am the resurrection and the life
John 14.6: I am the way, the truth, and the life
John 15.1: I am the true vine
We only have one of four options or conclusions left to us by Him.
C.S. Lewis in his book ‘Mere Christianity’ says: "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with a man who said he was a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with some patronising nonsense about Him being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to”
Who is Jesus? He is the Bread to feed upon, the Light to follow, the Door to enter, the Shepherd to guide, the Resurrection upon which to wait, the Way of salvation to trust, and the Vine in which to abide.
Wednesday 31st of August 2016
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