Summary: Jesus was not committing the sin of pride when he said "I am."
Scripture Reading: John 10:1-18
Message: “I AM”
Text: Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
Have you ever used the words “I am?”
I must admit that I have used those words.
I remember a boxer who said, “I am the greatest”.
We are told there are seven deadly sins.
One of these deadly sins is called pride.
What is pride?
You might say that pride is self-respect.
Is there anything wrong with self-respect?
I don’t think so.
Our service personnel are very proud to serve the United States of America.
They respect the flag and what it stands for.
They are willing to give their lives that the rest of us might enjoy freedom.
This is not sinful pride.
They are not inflating their egos.
They are not looking for a pat on the back.
They are proud to be an American.
I might say that I pride myself in the way I treat and help other people.
Am I being sinful?
I don’t think so.
If I did things just to make me look good and then brag about how wonderful I am, then I would be committing the sin of pride.
A teacher might say that she takes pride in the way she teaches because her students are respectful and eager to learn.
The teacher is not saying this to give herself credit, but she is giving credit to the students because her goal is to help them learn and to help them reach their full potential.
There are people who do things just to gain attention and credit.
Some people talk only about themselves, because they think they are most important and if they were not around doing things the world would come to a halt.
I am saying these people believe life revolves around them and without their words and activities, life would cease.
These people have a real ego problem.
They are puffed up with pride and this pride is sinful.
I heard a story about a little boy who measured himself to be nine feet tall. After measuring himself, he told his mother he was as tall as Goliath.
His mother inquired as to how he came up with such a measurement.
The little fellow said he took his ruler, went outside in the sun and measured himself on the ground.
There are many people who measure themselves with methods similar to the method the little boy used.
Some people measure themselves by themselves. In other words, they use their own standards of measurement.
God’s Word, 2 Corinthians 10:12, talks about measuring or comparing ourselves.
The Word says, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (v. 12).
In other words, we cannot prove or show how good we are or how wonderful our deeds are by comparing them to other people.
Comparing ourselves with other people only causes us to think we are better than other people.
Jesus used the words “I am” many times.
For example, He said:
1. “I am the gate for the sheep” (John 10:7)
2. “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11).
3. “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35).
4. “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).
5. “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
6. “I am the way the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
7. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener” (John 15:1).
Was Jesus trying to puff himself up?
Was He trying to boost His ego?
Was He trying to impress the people around him?
Did Jesus commit the sin of pride?
Of course Jesus did not commit any sin.
He was not interested in gaining anything for himself.
He came into this world for each one of us.
He came that we might have the opportunity to spend eternity in His kingdom.
He came that sinful man could be reconciled with God the Father.
He came to bridge the gap between sinful man and Almighty God.
When Jesus said that he was the gate for the sheep, he was saying that he was the only entrance into the Kingdom of God.
As the shepherd gathered his sheep together at night, usually in a three-sided area, a cave, an alcove, or some type of partially enclosed area, the shepherd slept at the entrance so he could protect his sheep.
The entrance, of course, is the way the sheep entered and resembled the opening to a type of corral.
Since there was no gate, the shepherd had to protect his sheep and his sheep knew him, the shepherd acted as the gate to the enclosure.