The Book of John records Jesus using the phrase “I am” at least 23 times.
In seven of them, he pairs the statement with a metaphor. They illustrate traits in common between Jesus and ordinary objects. Each statement has been the topic of many articles, books and sermons.
When observed together, however, we see how Jesus reveals the depth and breadth of his relationship with us….
I AM the bread of life. (John 6:35) Christ satisfies our most basic needs.
I AM the light of the world. (John 8:12) Christ illuminates our path.
I AM the door.(John 10:7) Christ is our entrance to the Kingdom.
I AM the good shepherd. (John 10:11) Christ cares for us even as we wander.
I AM the resurrection and the life. (John 11:25) Christ imparts life through faith.
I AM the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6) Christ navigates the journey…daily.
I AM the true vine. (John 15:1) Christ enables us to grow and bear fruit.
No single descriptor captures the essence of our Lord Jesus Christ. All seven “I AM” statements are needed to begin to grasp him and his relationship with us.
The Choice of “I AM”
For a moment, let’s consider the opposite of the “I AM” statements: Greed, dark thoughts, and wayward behaviors remain temptations. (Mark 7:23) Doubt borders on unbelief as our path meanders from Truth. We occasionally graft into a false vine and grow to bear no resemblance to the Truth. The choice to diverge from our journey of faith is ever-present.
The seven “I AM” statements, hence, also speak to our broad range of choice. God created us in His image. He gave us intelligence and command over the earth (Genesis 1:26-31). We are able exercise this authority with grace and godly integrity. Jesus further affirms our free will in His early teaching in Jerusalem (John 7:17). Many influences, though, weigh in on our choices. Know this though… no one forces our choices.
The Revelation of “I AM”
Jesus uses these figures of speech to reveal how he sustains, cares, guides and grows us. But we, too, play a role. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we choose to run the race.
Truly… these metaphors create a comprehensive picture of the One to whom and with whom we run. This profound and mysterious relationship is available to all who call upon his name! (Romans 10:13)
Spend some time exploring the “I AM” statements. Click through to the posts above and ponder their meaning in your faith journey.
Which “I AM” statement most speaks to your heart? How does it describe your relationship with Jesus today?
Finally…ask God to mold your heart and soul and mind to be able to embrace all aspects of Jesus’ nature and relationship with us.