In John’s Gospel we find Jesus referring to himself as the “I AM”. By doing so he was intentionally recalling God’s self-revelation of his name to Moses in the Book of Exodus. By claiming to be the I AM, Jesus is claiming to be Yahweh himself! No wonder many of the leaders wanted Jesus gone--this was a blatant declaration of blasphemy! Unless… Jesus was actually serious. Unless he really was (and is!) God himself among us.
More intriguing still are the ways Jesus describes his own life and mission. He describes himself as bread, as light, as a door, as a shepherd, as the way, as a vine. These are vivid word pictures that point to Jesus’ life and purpose. He’s the bread who satisfies our deepest hungers and thirsts. He’s the door, the only one through whom we can come into relationship with God. He’s the shepherd, one who keeps, protects, guides and nourishes his followers. And on it goes.
Each of the seven statements reveals God’s heart for us. Jesus spoke these over people who were struggling with life, looking for answers, upset with the current government’s decisions. Perhaps we can relate! As we continue to navigate the pandemic, we are also looking for answers, and need to be reminded of the truth and goodness of Jesus towards us. As much as these statements tells us about God, they also tell us about ourselves. That we are people who are hungry, who are in darkness, who need a shepherd, and so on. As we walk through this series, let’s be open to the ways Jesus is speaking his hope into our lives today.