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I AM series #7
I AM the Vine
John 15

Scripture Reading: John 15:5-8


This summer Iíve been preaching about the I AM statements that Jesus made. There are 7, and all of them are recorded in the Gospel of John. I learned something while doing this series. (Even when youíre in your 50ís there are still things to learn.)

All of the I AM statement were connected with an event going on around Jesus. Jesus responded to the circumstances around him. He used every-day events as a jumping-off point for teachings about God. Letís review the I AM statements, and youíll see what I mean:

o In John 6 Jesus fed over 5,000 people. Right after that miracle --- He told them: I AM the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never Thirst. John 6:35

o Jesus and his Disciples were at the Temple to celebrate the Festival of Lights when Jesus announced, I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. John 8:12

o They were looking out over hills where shepherds herded their sheep when Jesus said: I AM the gate (for the sheep); whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. John 10:9

o He went on to say, I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11

o Just before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he declared: I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies. John 11:25

o At the Last Supper, Jesus warned his apostles about his coming arrest and death. The Apostles couldnít understand what he meant. Finally, Thomas exclaimed: We donít know where youíre going, Jesus! How can we possibly know the way? Jesus took that opportunity to teach them: I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Itís clear that Jesus used every-day events as a springboard for teaching eternal truths. He was setting an example of what all of us are called to do. In the Old Testament, Moses told the Israelites how they were to pass Godís truths along to each new generation. He said: Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:19

Thatís the kind of teaching that works. We need to be ready for ďteachable momentsĒ that come while weíre going about our daily lives: sitting down to breakfast, walking (or more likely for us, driving) our children to school, putting the kids to bed at night. All of these daily events provide opportunities to teach about God. Thatís the way Jesus taught. He was always alert to ďteachable momentsĒ when he could tie eternal truth to the events of the moment.

Jesus made his last recorded I AM statement after the Last Supper. It is likely that he and his men were walking from the Upper Room to the Garden