Bread of life

Jesus as the Great I AM – Part 1

The Great “I Am”: Unveiling the Nature of God

 

Throughout history, humanity has grappled with understanding the nature of God. In the book of Exodus, we encounter a profound moment where God reveals Himself to Moses as “I Am That I Am.” This enigmatic statement has bemused scholars and believers for centuries, hinting at the eternal, self-existent nature of the Divine.

 

But what does it truly mean for God to be the “I Am”? How can we, as finite beings, comprehend the infinite? The Gospel of John provides a unique lens through which we can explore this concept, offering a series of “I Am” statements that bring clarity and depth to our understanding of God’s nature.

 

The Bread of Life

 

I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)

 

This powerful declaration follows the miraculous feeding of the 5,000, where Jesus multiplied loaves and fishes to feed a multitude. By identifying Himself as the bread of life, Jesus draws a parallel to the manna that sustained the Israelites in the wilderness. However, He goes further, claiming to be the ultimate source of sustenance – not just for physical hunger, but for the deepest longings of the human soul.

 

In our modern world, we often chase after material bread – success, wealth, and recognition. Yet, Jesus reminds us that true fulfillment comes only through Him. When we seek Him first, everything else falls into place. Our spiritual hunger is satisfied, and we find a peace that transcends understanding.

 

The Light of the World

 

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

 

In a world seemingly shrouded in darkness – both literal and metaphorical – Jesus proclaims Himself to be the source of illumination. This statement, made during the Feast of Tabernacles (a celebration involving elaborate light displays), would have piqued the interest of His audience and perhaps even garnered anger at the claim.

 

Today, many seek enlightenment through various spiritual practices or philosophies. Some speak of finding an “inner light” or trusting one’s heart. While these ideas may seem appealing, Jesus offers something far greater – He is the light that dispels all darkness, guiding us towards truth and life.

 

The Gate for the Sheep

 

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” (John 10:9)

 

With this statement, Jesus makes an exclusive claim – He is the only way to salvation. In a world that often promotes relativism and multiple paths to truth, this declaration can be challenging. Yet, it also offers incredible hope. There is a clear way to find safety, protection, and eternal life – through Jesus Christ.

 

The imagery of a gate also implies both inclusion and exclusion. Those who choose to enter through Christ become part of His flock, protected and cared for. It’s an invitation open to all, but one that requires a deliberate choice to walk through that gate.

 

The Good Shepherd

 

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

 

Building on the imagery of sheep and shepherds, Jesus contrasts Himself with hired hands who abandon the flock in times of danger. As the good shepherd, He is committed to protecting and nurturing His flock, even at the cost of His own life.

 

This metaphor speaks to the heart of God’s love for humanity. We are not merely subjects in a kingdom, but beloved sheep under the care of a compassionate shepherd. It’s a reminder that in our moments of vulnerability and weakness, we have a protector who knows us intimately and is always watching over us.

 

The Messiah

 

I who speak to you Am He.” (John 4:26)

 

In a powerful encounter with a Samaritan woman at a well, Jesus explicitly declares Himself to be the long-awaited Messiah. This revelation is significant not only for its content but also for its audience. By choosing to reveal His identity to a woman – and a Samaritan at that – Jesus demonstrates the inclusive nature of His mission.

 

This moment serves as a beautiful illustration of how God often works in unexpected ways, elevating the lowly and reaching out to those on the margins of society. It challenges us to reconsider our own biases and to recognize that God’s love and truth are available to all, regardless of social status, gender, or ethnicity.

 

Reflecting on the “I Am”

 

As we contemplate these “I Am” statements, we’re invited to see Jesus in a new light. He is not merely a historical figure or a wise teacher, but the embodiment of the eternal “I Am” – God made flesh, dwelling among us.

 

These declarations challenge us to examine our own lives:

 

  1. Are we truly relying on Jesus as our bread of life, or are we seeking fulfillment elsewhere?
  2. Do we allow His light to guide our path, or do we stumble in darkness?
  3. Have we entered through the gate He provides, or are we trying to find our own way?
  4. Do we trust Him as our good shepherd, even in life’s valleys?
  5. Have we accepted Him as the Messiah, the fulfillment of God’s promises?

 

The beauty of these “I Am” statements is that they are not mere theological concepts, but invitations to a transformative relationship. Jesus doesn’t just tell us who He is; He invites us to experience His nature firsthand.

 

No matter how chaotic and uncertain life can be at times, these declarations offer an anchor for our souls. They remind us that the God of the universe – the great “I Am” – has made Himself known to us in the person of Jesus Christ. He is our sustenance, our light, our protector, and our savior.

 

As we reflect on these truths, may we be drawn into a deeper understanding of who God is and who we are in relation to Him. May we find the courage to walk through the gate, to follow the light, and to trust the shepherd with our lives. For in doing so, we discover not just who God is, but who we were always meant to be.

 

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Here’s a 5-day Bible reading plan and devotional guide:

 

Day 1: The Bread of Life

Reading: John 6:25-35

 

Devotional: Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life.” This powerful statement reminds us that Christ is our ultimate sustenance. Just as we need physical food to survive, we need Jesus to truly live. Reflect on areas of your life where you might be seeking fulfillment outside of Christ. How can you turn to Him as your source of spiritual nourishment today? Remember, when we seek Him first, He provides for all our needs.

 

—–

 

Day 2: The Light of the World

Reading: John 8:12-18

 

Devotional: In a world often shrouded in darkness, Jesus proclaims, “I am the light of the world.” This light isn’t just illumination, but guidance, truth, and hope. Consider the areas of your life that feel dark or uncertain. How can you invite Christ’s light into these situations? Pray for His wisdom and direction, trusting that in His light, we see light.

 

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Day 3: The Gate for the Sheep

Reading: John 10:7-10

 

Devotional: Jesus presents Himself as the exclusive way to salvation, saying, “I am the gate.” This reminds us that our relationship with God is through Christ alone. Reflect on the significance of this in your own faith journey. Are there areas where you’re trying to reach God through other means? Recommit to entering through Christ, the only gate that leads to true life and security.

 

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Day 4: The Good Shepherd

Reading: John 10:11-18

 

Devotional: The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd speaks to His care, protection, and sacrifice for us. Unlike hired hands who flee in danger, Jesus lays down His life for His sheep. Meditate on how this impacts your understanding of God’s love for you. In what ways can you respond to His shepherding care today? Consider how you might extend this shepherding love to others in your life.

 

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Day 5: The Great I AM

Reading: John 4:25-26, Exodus 3:13-14


Devotional: Jesus’ declaration “I AM He” to the Samaritan woman echoes God’s revelation to Moses as “I AM.” This profound statement affirms Christ’s divinity and His mission to all people, regardless of social status. Reflect on how Jesus has revealed Himself in your life. How does recognizing Him as the great I AM change your perspective on your circumstances? Praise Him for His unchanging nature and His desire to be known by you.

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