Holding forth the Word f Life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ
Trinity Reformed Baptist Church
Topeka, Kansas 66614
The Great I AM
(Written by a new believer)
First off I would like to say that the Internet can be both a wonderful and a dangerous resource for this study as I have found many sites on this subject. When searching the Internet I ran across many sites for the "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", "The Mormons", "The Catholics", etc. And although some of what they say on these sites may be true, other stuff found on the same site may be half truths or outright falsehoods. So I would try to determine the source of the data before using it. A lot of the time this was difficult at best to determine. If I could determine the source, and I knew that their beliefs differed from ours I would immediately discard it without delay. Others that I could not definitively determine, I would have to review based on the truth as I understand it...
I can only base what I read with what I understand to be true. One of the things I have not realized until now was that just about all people are given one name at birth and may hold a title or two throughout their lives based on the work that they do. Jesus on the other hand had many names and hundreds of titles denoting His divine nature.
I chose "I AM" because one of my favorite verses is Psalm 46:10
"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."
I choose to concentrate on the "I AM" names of Christ contained in the book of John. There are seven declarations made by Jesus that combines a tremendous metaphor which express his saving relationship to the world and more importantly speak of his claim to deity.
1. I AM the Bread of Life John 6:35
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
There are other passages in the book of John that I will mention briefly:
He was the bread of everlasting life (John 6:32-34),
…the bread of satisfying life (John 6:35-36),
…the bread of resurrection life (John 6:37-47),
…the bread of indwelling life (John 6:48-59).
Just as bread sustains life in the physical sense, I believe Jesus is equating himself with bread thus referring to the fact that he is essential for life. The life Jesus is referring to is not physical life, but eternal life. I think an important point to make here is that Jesus is making a claim to deity.
There seems to be 4 key words in this verse. "Cometh and believeth" and "hunger and thirst" I believe that what is being said here is "When Jesus says those who come to Him will never hunger and those who believe in Him will never thirst, He is saying He will satisfy our hunger and thirst to be made righteous in the sight of God."
2. I AM the Light of the World John 8:12
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
By Jesus declaring Himself to be the Light of the world, Jesus was claiming that He is the exclusive source of spiritual light and as such could hold up men's lives to this light to expose the sins hidden deep within. I believe this light refers to the light of His Truth, the light of His Word, and the light of eternal Life and that those who perceive this true Light and trust in Him have their eyes opened by Him will never walk in spiritual darkness but should have eternal life.
3. I AM the Door John 10:9
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
Notice in this verse Jesus states He is “the door,” not “a door.” I can only take this to mean he is the only means we have of receiving eternal life.
4. I AM the Good Shepherd John 10:11
"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
In Bible times, a good shepherd was willing to risk his own life to protect his sheep from predators. Jesus laid down His life for His sheep, and He cares for and nurtures and feeds us.
In using the phrase “the good shepherd,” Jesus is referencing His inherent goodness, His righteousness, and His beauty. As shepherd of the sheep, He is the one who protects, guides, and nurtures His flock. A true and faithful shepherd who willingly gives up his life for the sheep. In proclaiming that He is the good shepherd, Jesus speaks of “laying down” His life for His sheep
5. I AM the Resurrection and the Life John 11:25
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"
When Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” He was claiming to be the source of both. There is no resurrection apart from Christ, and there is no eternal life apart from Christ. It’s one thing to claim to be the resurrection and the life, but Jesus proved it by raising Lazarus, who had been dead for four days. Death has no dominion over Him who is Life itself, nor does death have dominion over those who are in Him. Because He lives, we live. Because He is Life, we have life eternally.
Embodied within Jesus is the means to resurrect sinners to eternal life, just as He was resurrected from the grave. Our sin is buried with Him and we are resurrected to walk in newness of life.
6. I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life John 14:6
"Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Jesus is the only path to God, the only Truth in a world of lies, and the only true source of eternal life. He embodies all three in both a temporal and an eternal sense.
“I am” is a very intense way of referring to oneself and for Jesus it is the name of power and authority, and Jesus claimed it as His own. When Jesus says "the Truth" he did not say a truth, but the only truth and when he says "the way" he did not say a way, but the only way to the father. The exclusive nature of the only path to salvation is expressed in the words “I am the way.”
The life – Jesus had just been telling His disciples about His impending death, and now He was claiming to be the source of all life. In John 10:17-18, Jesus declared that He was going to lay down His life for His sheep, and then take it back again. He spoke of His authority over life and death as being granted to Him by the Father. In John 14:19, He gave the promise that “because I live, you also will live.” The deliverance He was about to provide was not a political or social deliverance (which most of the Jews were seeking), but a true deliverance from a life of bondage to sin and death to a life of freedom in eternity.
7. I AM the True Vine John 15:1,5
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman."
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
The True Vine supplies all that the branches (believers) need to produce the fruit of the Spirit— the living water of salvation and nourishment from the Word.