Monday: In the Gospel of John the Apostle John records seven "I Am" statements of Jesus. We will also have a bonus round of two I Am ish statements. Who doesn't like getting a bonus and I promise it's not a year membership to the Jelly of the month club.
These I am statements are not just some random mystical, biblical pronouns but rather point to something much deeper. In the book of Exodus (3:14) God reveals His name to Moses and says "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you" Thus this "I AM" points to God and it identifies God to His people.
Fast forward to the time of Jesus and this is still understood to be the name of God. After Jesus uses the statement I AM the people cry out attempt to stone him which is the punishment for blaspheme and idolatry. Which is what Jesus is doing by claiming the I AM name for himself. That is of course unless he really is God in the flesh.
Tuesday: GivGive Me Five - The Bread Of Life - Today we look at the first of seven "I Am" statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of John.
In John 6:35 the Apostle John records this "Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst."
Jesus connects the Manna miracle recorded in Exodus 16 to show the people that while bread (even bread from God) can only sustain for a little while the true bread from Heaven gives eternal life and sustains your forever. Or as Jesus puts it "“Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
Wednesday: Give Me Five - I Am The Light - John 8:12
Today Jesus says that he is the light of the world and promises that his followers will not walk in darkness. Light and Dark are major themes in the Gospel of John. In the Gospel of John light and dark represent life and death. Jesus is saying that as he is the light thus he is direction, illumination, and most importantly life.
Thursday: Give Me Five - I Am The Door - John 10:7-9
One of the things I love about our faith is that it is simple enough for a child to understand yet deep enough to spend an entire life time studying it and not completely understanding its depth and breadth. Today is one of those passages. I think one can easily state that most people understand the concept of a door and its functions. Yet here Jesus is also make some deep and profound statements. He says I am the door. Not one of many doors or an opening that allows everyone in. He also goes on to talk about that this door as salvation, and entrance to the pasture. You could study of the shepherd is literally the door as he lays down when the sheep are in the pen.
Friday: Give Me Five - I Am The Good Shepherd - John 10:11-14
Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd and lists the qualities of a good shepherd as one that leads, let’s in, and lays down his life. David writes a wonderful Psalm about God as the Good Shepherd in Psalm 23. No doubt the connection was not lost on those hearing this.
Jesus also contrasts the qualities of a Sham Shepherd that steals, kills, and destroys. Thank God Jesus is that good shepherd