Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Forgotten "I AM"

Have you ever heard a sermon or series of sermons or read a book about the "I am's" of Jesus?

Famous "I am's" of Jesus include:

I am the bread from heaven (John 6:32)

I am the bread of life (John 6:53)

Much like God sustained the escaped, wandering ex-slaves through manna via Moses, God sustains us wandering, ex-slaves of sin via the body and blood of our Lord.

I am the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5)

The religious people of the day couldn't "see". They missed who he was. But the man born blind was able to "get it".

I am the door (John 10:7, 9)

We are God's sheep. (I recently heard someone say, "You've never heard of 'trained sheep' have you? No 'cause sheep are dumb!") But Jesus is the gate through which even dumb sheep are able to enter!

I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)

How appropriate for the day we anticipate this Sunday!

I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)

"Doubting" Thomas doesn't understand where Jesus is getting ready to go or how he can follow. I understand those questions, don't you?

I am the (true) vine (John 15:1,5)

He calls us to "remain" or "abide" in him. Those who've come before us tell us that scripture, prayer, fasting, meditation, acts of mercy and gathering with others are some of the ways we stay close to Jesus.

I am he (John 18:5, 6, 8)

"I am he"?

What's that?

Not familiar with this one? Read on:

"Judas (had come) guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons."

A mob is coming for him. Jesus knows what is going on and he asks, "Who is it you want?"

"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.

"I am he," Jesus said.

Actually, John mentions it three times. Jesus says it twice.

"I am he."

"I am the one you've come to take."

"I am the one who will let himself be taken."

"I am he."

How important is this aspect of Jesus' identity?


If he were only The Light or The Vine, his task would be incomplete.

It wasn't until he would give his life away that his calling would be fulfilled.

It wasn't until he would give his life away that he would be The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

It was through laying down his life that he would become The Door.

I wonder sometimes if we'd like to forget about this last I AM.

It's exciting to think of the Lord as being our Bread; he feeds us and sustains us.

It's a privilege to remember Jesus is our Gate or Door; he allows us access to all the Father has for us.

But it is a little discouraging to think that Jesus lays his will down, gives his power away...and then calls us to do the same!

"I am he."

May you determine to follow him.

Grace & peace

No comments: