This is who I am…
There’s been a lot of chat about who Jesus is. A lot of speculation and a lot of divided opinion.
The Book of John focuses on the identity of Jesus. It includes seven ‘I am’ sayings, seven assertions interwoven between the wondrous signs and significant stories that Jesus tells.
Some would say that these ‘I am’ sayings are an accurate account of the actual words Jesus spoke. Others believe that John constructed these sayings to demonstrate the role and identity of Christ. I’m someone who reads the words attributed to Jesus in the Bible as if they were said directly by Jesus.
I love how these sayings focus attention on the person of Jesus, by revealing in a particular image something of Jesus’ role or identity.
So how does Jesus describe who he is?
I am the bread of life. John 6:35
I am the light of the world. John 8:12
I am the door. John 10:9
I am the good shepherd. John 10:11
I am the resurrection and the life. John 11:25
I am the way, the truth and the life. John 14:6
I am the true vine. John 15:1
Many of these assertions are linked to a related miracle or sign, but take the physical wonder to a whole new spiritual level.
And these are bold claims.
Jesus is not a bread of life; he is the bread of life.
Light is one of the essential themes in John’s Gospel, appearing 23 times. Not just in this account from John though, but throughout the whole of the Old Testament too. Jesus identifies himself as the light of the world.
There’s something exclusive about a door. It’s the only way in or out. And Jesus is the door.
The good shepherd is the one who takes care of us, protecting us and providing for us. Jesus is the good shepherd who lives within each one of us.
Jesus describes himself as the Resurrection and the Life in the context of Lazarus’ resurrection. We read this fully aware of what is to come.
Jesus does not only show us the way, he is the way.
Jesus does not only reveal to us the truth, he is the truth.
Jesus does not only lead us into life, he is the life.
Israel is often described as a vine in the Old Testament, but Jesus is the only vine which produces good fruit. And the only way we can ever expect to produce good fruit is by abiding in him.
Each one of these assertions adds to our understanding of Jesus’ identity.
This is who Jesus is.