Summary: Examining the famous I AM statements of Jesu
Who is “I AM”?
The coming of Jesus Christ is the centre of history. Jesus demonstrated what a trusting relationship with him would be like. In His three years of public ministry Jesus called out “Come, follow me.” The reason for the transformed lives of the twelve men that left all to become his disciples is beautifully summarized by Peter, “Who else could we go to? You alone have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
In the Old Testament the title God used for Himself was “I AM”, God introduced himself to Moses by saying “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14). Jesus often used the same title “I am” to explain His divine identity and purpose. Many of these “I am” statements speak of the benefits laid out for us. This simple phrase also helps us to see His compassion and how we can connect with the God who reaches out to us daily.
John 10:14-18 says: “14 I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. 15 In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. 16 You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.” (THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.)
Jesus our Shepherd
“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me.” John 10:14
Jesus knows we need love and friendship in our lives. We all need someone to be involved in our daily life that is able to guide us as a shepherd guides his sheep. Every part of a sheep’s life is important to its shepherd. A true friend may know the worst about us and still remain our friend – Jesus knows the everyday details and decisions of our lives, the difficulties, circumstances and situations that we face. A connection with Him gives us something with far above and beyond our human relationships.
How does it make you feel, when you know that Jesus knows everything about you?
Shepherding involves more than we can imagine. God, our Creator, reaches out to care for His children. Jesus invites us into close relationship with Him. The same love without limit extended to each of us by Him, whoever we are and wherever we are.
Luke 15:4-7 says: “4Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? 5 When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, 6 and when you got home call in your friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ 7 Count on it — there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue. (THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.)
Next time you feel like nobody cares and wonder if God is bothered, recall Jesus words about the one stray sheep. Often we think we know God’s view, often we will try to force our opinion or view as God’s own – even when we are wrong.
Do you ever find yourself in a place where you think you know better than God or your answer must be right?
The shepherd in the parable left ninety-nine, to find and rescue one that was lost. It was urgent that it be found and returned to safety – there is joy in Heaven over every lost one that is found.
Shepherd Jesus is good, a relationship with Him is for our benefit. He gives protection. He stands with us when evil tries to attack us. He directs our thoughts and guides our actions. We just need to choose to follow His directions.
Jesus our Light
“I am the light of the world” John 8:12
Jesus made this statement straight after an encounter with a lonely, troubled woman. She had sinned. She was surrounded by a group of religious leaders who were accusing her. She had been caught in the act of adultery – and she was expected to pay for it. The religious leaders were hoping that by testing Jesus, they would trap Him. Would He obey tradition and allow them to stone her? Jesus knew the hearts of the accusers, without hesitation He said, “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. These men paused and one by one, they left. Jesus asked her, “Has no one condemned you?”. She replied “No one”. Jesus then says “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”