He is the Light of The Word. In Him there is no darkness.
I have a kindergartener in my household. Every day he scoffs at me as I tell him to write the date at the top of his worksheets.
“But I did yesterday,” he says.
I gently remind him that learning sometimes means repeating. We learn phonics by repeating sounds and slowly putting them together. Math is learned by coming back to old concepts so that the new ones can be better grasped. He seems to understand, despite his continued scoffing at the need to write the full date.
This led to a good conversation in our home classroom. Sitting with the four children, I asked them why we go over previously learned Bible verses, while adding new. They responded with something a long the lines of memorizing, hiding God’s Word in their hearts, and just simply knowing what the Bible is saying.
I asked them about why, even if a person read through the entire book 30 times, would they continue to study for years to come. They contemplated and came to the conclusion that the Lord shows us something new every time we read His Word, despite having read it so many times before. We came to the understanding that the Spirit convicts us of something new, something refreshing, and a more in-depth truth each and every time we open the Bible.
I studied the names of God last fall and enjoyed preparing a study on them for Advent for my children. Through it, we talked a lot about Yahweh and what it meant to Moses. The Lord pressed into Moses a grand command to lead and save His people. He guided him by making such a declaration that the Jewish faith dared not even write out God’s name for fear of destruction. The name held power, and the people trembled at the thought of it.
Learning more about the importance of God’s names, led me to appreciate Jesus’ declaration through the Book of John and the Gospels as a whole.
Jesus introduced his place as God when declaring, “I, the one speaking to you- I am he.” He proclaims to be the Messiah, the self-existent God which implied his deity. John 4:26 NIV
This statement is a precursor to the seven declarations of deity. Each announcement solidifies his message and God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promises. Through each expression, we see Jesus’ full character.
John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty…”
The bread promises sustainment and fulfillment. The manna in the desert was only temporary, but the Son of God is bread from heaven offering eternal life. After feeding the 5000, the people sought after more miracles when Jesus simply wanted them to see that life was given through him. They need not hunger again nor do they have to rely on miraculous signs.
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
If you remain with Jesus, you will never walk in darkness. After Jesus taught a great lesson on humility in the temple, he declared that the candles held nothing to the light that he provided. His presence allowed for light, while sin only caused darkness. Because God is light, Jesus’ followers reflect the light that comes from him. These followers are, too, the light of the world.
John 10:9 “…I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture…”
Jesus offers the only legitimate door to salvation by offering himself to us. He will shepherd us to eternal life through the door of faith.
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…”
The good shepherd knows his sheep, he calls them by name. He leaves the 99 to go and bring home the lost. Jesus places the sheep, his people, before himself by having an intimate relationship with us. He is not just someone to look after us, but Jesus accounts for us, taking care of us.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Jesus was saying that he gives more than life. He gives resurrection and life. Because he is life, final death is impossible. He is the very source of this resurrection. He who believes in Jesus will live, death will never triumph over them.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…”
Jesus was not claiming that he was one way among many, he was declaring to be the only way. His disciples were struggling with conversation, not understanding why Jesus was to leave them. He gave them, as well as the rest of us, hope in these words.
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…”
A believer doesn’t have fruitfulness apart from the union and fellowship with Christ. A branch that is out of contact with the vine is without life. In order for us to bear fruit, we must abide in Christ.
The core claims of Jesus declare the Hebrew personal covenant told to us in Exodus. I AM, Yahweh, the self-existent God, is uncaused and depends on no other source for His being. This name identifies His deity, hence identifying Jesus as one in the same. Jesus is I AM, there from the beginning, existent in the Word who was always with God.Jesus was not claiming that he was one way among many, he was declaring to be the only way. Click To Tweet