Jesus’ Seven I Am Statements

Jesus’ Seven I Am Statements May 31, 2017

What were the implications of Jesus using the “I Am” statements about Himself in the New Testament?

Bread from Heaven

When the Jews were wandering in the wilderness due to their disobedience of not crossing over into the Promised Land, God provided for “manna,” or as it were, “manna from heaven,” so the Jews knew exactly what Jesus was talking about when He said “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). God provided both bread and water to ancient Israel that kept them alive, but Jesus is the Bread of life and gives bread that satisfies forever and living water that, whoever drinks, “shall never thirst.” Ancient Israel grew hungry and thirsty in their journeys, but God provided for them; today, Jesus gives us eternal life and whoever believes in Him, even if they die, shall live again (John 10:25-26). This is the bread that leads to eternal life, so He is the Bread of eternal life.

Light of the World

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the nation of Israel was living in spiritual darkness, and it had been 400 years since a prophet of God had spoken, that is until John the Baptist spoke of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). John the Baptist was actually the last of the Old Testament prophets, and even though he part of the New Testament, he was the last of the Old Testament prophets. John’s ministry was a sort of door hinge with the door to the new covenant on one side opening, and closing the door of the Mosaic Law of the old covenant. John knew why Christ came and therefore he rightly said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). May it be so with all of us so that Christ increases all the more and we all the less, so that others can only see Christ and not us anymore. Jesus as the Light of the World says, “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12) and many in the spiritual void of Judea did see the Light, but until Jesus shines the light of His Word, we don’t even know we’re in darkness.

The Door

My uncle in Iowa has a farm with acres of corn, but he also raises sheep. There is only one thing about these sheep. They won’t come to a stranger. In fact, they run away when I started to go out to them, but if they hear my uncle’s voice, they come running. His sheep know his voice, and so too do those who are of Jesus’ own flock. He says, I Am the Door or the Good Shepherd, which could both apply to John 10:7 where Jesus said, “I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7). Jesus as the Good Shepherd guards the door to the sheepfold; in fact, He is the door! One must go through Him to have access to the sheep, which is why He says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). To get into the fold of God, you must come through the Good Shepherd (John 6:44).

I-am-the-resurrection

The Good Shepherd

Not every sheep my uncle has comes home willingly. If some of the young ones get separated from the flock, he has to go out and find them, because sheep are not that smart. They’ll just stay in one place and eat the pasture till it’s gone, roots and all, so the shepherd not only has to lead them to greener pastures (Psalm 23:1), but he has to go after the ones that get lost, but Jesus reassures us by stating, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11), and later says, “I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:15). My uncle wouldn’t lay down his life for his sheep, but Jesus has done that for us, and has planned from before time began, to gives His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

The Resurrection

Jesus was never questioned about His raising the dead, and we know that many of the Jews believed in in because of the resurrections He did, so the Jews understood the implications of Jesus saying, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this” (John 11:25-26)? The Jews had seen or heard from witnesses that Jesus raise the dead, and they were about to see it again with Lazarus, yet their hearts were so hardened that they conspired to kill Lazarus and Jesus, because Lazarus was raised from the dead (although, I’m not sure why they were blaming him!). They probably wanted Lazarus dead because many of the Jews believed on Jesus because He raised Lazarus from the dead. How that was Lazarus’ fault is a mystery to me, but it only reveals the wickedness of the Jewish religious leaders.

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

The way it is written where Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), is specific in intent. He is saying “I am the way” and not one of many ways. He is the truth and whatever a person believes cannot change that. He is the life, in the sense of granting eternal life. He is not a way but the way; He is not a truth, but the truth; and He not only grants physical life, but is the way to eternal life (John 6:44). There is no other way at all (Acts 4:12). There is only one way and that is through Christ alone, or you believe He is a liar. The “truth” cannot be a liar, for He is God, and God cannot lie (Num 23:19; Titus 1:2).

The Vine

Reading John 15, you can see Jesus using the symbolism of the vine, which was one of ancient Israel’s symbols. You would have seen the vine engraved in the temple, on ceremonial vessels, and represented in the priest’s clothing. Israel was originally called to be a fruitful vine, but by the time Jesus arrived in Judea, Israel had become a barren, spiritual wasteland, a barren vine, with the religious leaders teaching the doctrines of men, and avoiding the weightier matters of justice and mercy. Israel, as the vine, had withered, and was in danger of being cut and burned. Perhaps this is what John the Baptist meant when he warned the Jews, “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Luke 3:9). A branch cannot produce fruit without abiding in the vine, which means we can’t produce any fruits unless we’re abiding in Him (John 15:5). On the other hand, wax fruit might look good, but it is useless when you’re hungry. And it melts under fiery trials.

Conclusion

The Apostle John met the resurrected “I AM” and writes, “I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades’” (Rev 1:17). Some glorious day, we will see Jesus “coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen” (Rev 1:7), and we shall finally see the Great I AM Who says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev 1:8).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

"Quote from Thomas Allin:Let us next consider the true meaning of the words “aion” and ..."

Created in The Image Of God: ..."
"If free will exists to me, and I am excercising it daily, then it is ..."

Joshua’s Transition Into Leadership
"Thanksgiving is coming up and Jesus’ sheep hear Jesus’ voice:From John 10, Young’s Literal Translation22And ..."

Thanksgiving As A Way Of Life
"Another non-sequitur.I do wish you had managed to address the points in this discussion instead ..."

Joshua’s Transition Into Leadership

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Evangelical
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Miranda

    Another great study Pastor. Another amazing implication of Jesus using the “I Am” is how it declares His oneness with the Father, and His Authority on earth – “God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM,” Exodus. 3.14. Through all those years since, through all Israel’s disobedience God has shown His faithfulness, truly the Good Shepard, even to those who wander, and even today His promises hold true.

    • Jack Wellman

      Thank you so kindly.

  • pud

    There is NO extra-biblical evidence that anyone name of “jesus” ever existed at all. So you have yet another epic fail essay for your shredder.

    Your “savior” (from himself) never did anything, wrote anything, left any trace…no name messianic religious lunatics created a story. There were no reporters, stenographers or biographers following around your mythological deity writing down his every word….it is a story book you simple minded gullible fool

    Muhammad rode a winged horse to heaven to meet the other “prophets” How do you KNOW he didn’t? Why don’t you BELIEVE that myth?

    Joseph Smith worked with the angel Gabriel translating golden plates…why don’t you BELIEVE that BS?

    Stupid, simple minded, indoctrinated fools are capable of BELIEVING anything

    • Doug Barron

      Oh, PUDDLES!
      I get my daily belly laugh from you! Keep it up! Great entertainment!

      • pud

        Looks like you have an ample one to go with your lunatic howlings. Hope they don’t ban you from electroshock therapy

      • ScruffOz

        Pud’s comments are 100% accurate every time. His only folly is that his comments fall on the ears of the deluded.
        And to be honest, without Pud, comments on this blog would frequently number zero.

        • Jack Wellman

          Pud just hates a being that he does not believe in. Whoever has ears can hear; it’s just that he doesn’t want to hear..

          • ScruffOz

            Thinking skills and reading comprehension can be added to your list of inadequacies.
            People don’t hate nonexistent beings. Pud isn’t the one not listening.

          • pud

            Yeah, I “hate” unicorns too.. they shit rainbow colored skittles all over the sidewalk….if only I would believe in them.

    • jemimahg

      so what is your remedy to death and the grave or do just stupid, simple minded, indoctrinated fools believe in a need for a remedy to death and the grave?

      • pud

        Do you simpletons ever think for more than a second about what you write?

        Why does there need to be an imaginary made up feel good “remedy”?

        Do you care more about reality and the truth or pacifying your fears?

        What was the universe like before you were born? Did you have any fear then?

        What purpose does making up an eternal Disney land in the sky serve? Or Valhalla or the Happy Hunting Grounds?

        Why would you willing self delude yourself with some fantasy?

        All living things die. So what?

        I’m not very happy about facing my mortality but I’m not going to make some nonsense up just so I can allay my fear of not being here forever.

        • jemimahg

          Talk about a simpleton…. What did you know before you were born? Nothing….just as you apparently know nothing now post-birth…. I never said I was afraid to die.. you are speaking from your own mind-set.

          That you have no desire for eternal life speaks volumes to how miserable your life must be, pud….

          • pud

            LOL..you really are a simple minded dolt aren’t you?

            I desired a pony when I was a little boy too and I desire to have 3 supermodels hanging on my arms and a Ferrari in my driveway….But I’m an adult and I don’t pine for things that I want but can’t have and I certainly don’t create fantasies in my head to deceive myself.

            It is you must have the miserable life that you so desire some eternal one singing jesus songs all day long for eternity. If you had a great life now you wouldn’t be looking forward to a better one later. duh!

            Tell me dimweed….how are you going to spend your first trillion years in the hereafter?

          • jemimahg

            Not to be insulting as is your forte, but as an objective observation, u are quite pathetic but apparently troll these sites in search of what you lack…peace of mind that comes with that blessed assurance…

          • pud

            Can you demonstrate this “blessed assurance”?

            No…therefore it is all in your head which by definition makes you delusional

  • See Noevo

    In each of the seven metaphors, the statement structure is ‘I am X.’

    Can you think of any statements of Jesus in which the structure is reversed,
    i.e. ‘X is Me’ ?

    The only ones that come to mind are
    – “Take, eat; this is my body.”
    – “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.
    And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”

    Maybe these last two aren’t metaphoric or symbolic.

  • jemimahg

    When Moses was called at the burning bush (Exodus 3:13-14) he asked what name he was to tell the Hebrews who sent him….he was told to tell them I AM (AHAYAH in Hebrew) sent him. So when Messiah would state ‘I AM’ they understood He was equating Himself to the Father, which they called blasphemy, and became more enraged to kill Him.

    Some people call the Messiah YASHAYAH because yasha in Hebrew means saviour and ahayah means I AM….. I AM Saviour….thus believing this the the name, and none other, given among men whereby we must be saved …. and because it is commonly known that Messiah was not named or ever called Jesus.

  • pud

    It is 100% certain that NO jews wandered in the desert, were slaves in Egypt or that anyone name of moses existed. There has never been found a single artifact in the Sinai despite extensive exploration. The entire STORY is a MYTH!

    • Kristie Richardson-Mobley

      Really 100%?So I assume you were there then to back up that statement,and Is it 100% factual that you are breathing air?I can’t see anything,Is it 100% that George Washington was a real person?Or was it some book a human wrote that told you that?So with your logic I can assume everything is a myth,because most things you believe is because someone told you or you read it in a book because I doubt very much you were part of or no anyone who was part of a *extensive* exploration team in the Sinai to no that,because everything else ever told or written is the truth just not the bible right?,,and we no we can believe everything the media says or everything on the internet right????Your logic is astounding

      • pud

        Your lack of reasoning and logic is what’s astounding! LOL I don’t have to “be there” to be certain to 100% probability. ALL the evidence…ALL the facts… clearly demonstrate that the “exodus” was a myth. More than a million people could not survive in a desert, leave no trace, wander aimlessly when the promised land was no more than a weeks walk following the coastline! You clearly are a fully indoctrinated gullible idiot. I don’t “believe” anything…only gullible ignorant people “believe” crap. I follow where the evidence leads like all rational people do. I don’t “believe” the internet…I don’t “believe” the media…I follow exactly where the evidence leads unlike you buffoons who would swallow any nonsense shoveled at you.