Sunday, September 27, 2015

I AM - Seven Statements of Jesus' Divinity

I AM - Seven Statements in the Book of John

I have heard it argued that Jesus, Himself, never said He was God.  In the book of John Jesus made seven statements affirming that He was, in fact, God.  This study will examine those statements.

Overview:  I AM that I AM

This week we will begin our new study on the “Seven I AM Statements in the Book of John.”  These are very powerful statements by Jesus that point directly to His divinity:  Directly to the fact that Jesus is God.  So I want to begin the study this week with a kind of overview on the Statement I AM.  In my mind this statement and the verses we’ll be looking at today are the most powerful statements by Jesus that He’s God.  So let’s begin:

This will be the text for this study.  We will be looking at Jesus’ statements of His divinity. 

John 8:56-59 (NKJV)
8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

So here Jesus is making a statement.  The Pharisees have been arguing with Jesus about who He is.  This takes place immediately after the woman caught in adultery is brought before Him.  This is a very well-known passage of scripture.  They bring the woman to Him and test Him. 

John 8:4-6 (NKJV)
8:4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So you remember the story.  Jesus writes in the dust of the ground with His finger and tells them, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.”  But of course, all of them are guilty of sin, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and as Jesus continues to write in the dust they go away one by one.  Then Jesus makes one of the first of the “I AM” statements that we will study in this study:

John 8:12 (NKJV)
8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."


Then the Pharisees call Him a liar:

John 8:13 (NKJV)
8:13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, "You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true."

Jesus speaks of Himself as the one sent by God Look at these statements:

John 8:16 – I am with the Father who sent me.

Verse 18 – the Father who sent me bears witness of me.

Verse 29 – He who sent me is with Me

In John 5:23 He tells them it is impossible to honor the Father without honoring the Son.

John 5:22-23 (NKJV)
5:22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

The Pharisees understood what He was saying here.  First, He’s saying that God has given Him the authority to judge.  He has authority to judge sin. Second, He is saying that they can’t honor God if they don’t honor Him.  He makes Himself equal to God.  You must honor Me or you don’t honor God.

In the present conversation, Jesus begins to make statements that speak to His ability to forgive sins.  If you do not believe that I am He (meaning that he is the one sent by God to redeem us) then you will die in your in sins.

John 8:23-24 (NKJV)
8:23 And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

Now the conversation begins to become more pointed.  He turns to those who come to believe in Him and says, “If you abide in my word you are my disciples, and you shall no the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall make you Free.”

The jews then make an odd statement…They tell Him we are Abraham’s sons we have never been in bondage to anyone.  But that isn’t true.  They were slaves in Egypt; They had been CAPTIVE in Babylon; They were at that moment under Roman RULE.

Jesus begins to speak to them of Eternal Life:

John 8:50-52 (NKJV)
8:50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death." 52 Then the Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.'


The Jews are enraged, because Abraham was dead and Abraham was a godly man.  So they think He’s putting Abraham, and by extension them, down.  “Are you better than our father Abraham.  The prophet’s are dead are you better than them?”  Who do you day that you are? 

Jesus finally gets to this point:

John 8:54-56 (NKJV)
8:54 Jesus answered, "If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, 'I do not know Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."

They have no idea what he’s talking about.  Abraham had died many, many, many years before Jesus was born.  He was a young man they wondered how He could say that Abraham rejoiced to see Him.  They didn’t understand how that could be.  Then Jesus makes the statement that totally rocks them:

John 8:58 (NKJV)
8:58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

This is a very powerful moment.  This is a direct statement that He was God.  before Abraham was…I am.  Look at how angry the Pharisees get at that:

John 8:59 (NKJV)
8:59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.


They were angry because they understood EXACTLY what he meant by that statement.  It is a statement that goes all the way back to Moses meeting with God at the burning bush.  God has sent Him to deliver the Israelis from Egypt.  And Moses questions Hik because he has already had some bad moments in that.  He thought once before he had the call of God on his life to deliver them and they rejeced him.  He spent 40 years in exile because of the way he did that.  He was afraid they wouldn’t accept him in the deliverer role still, so he asked God who should I tell them sent me.  Look at God’s reply:

Exodus 3:14 (NKJV)
3:14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

That word translated in the statement is the word Yahweh.  I AM = Yahweh.  This word is sacred to Jews, so sacred that they cannot even utter it.  When they write the word, to this day, they take the vowels out.  YHWH is how they spell it.  And Jesus comes straight out and says to the.  Before Abraham was…Yahweh.  BOOM! He wasn’t using bad grammar.  He was making a definitive statement about Who He was.

I AM God.  he is speaking of His timelessness.  He was in the beginning.  Remember the words in the first chapter of John?  Who knows it?

John 1:1-2 (NKJV)
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

John is talking about Jesus here.  In the beginning He was with God and he was God.  Jesus was there in the beginning.  And then he uses the words I AM. 

There is another instance where Jesus does the same thing, it’s found in John 18:5.  This takes place as Judas comes to betray Him.  The Temple Guads approach Him and he asks who they seek and they say to Him, “Jesus of Nazareth…” Look at what happens:

John 18:5-6 (NKJV)
18:5 They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground.

They drew back and fell to the ground.  They flinched at what He said and it literally knocked them to the ground.  They were bowled over.  Why did they have that reaction?  Who can tell me? It’s for the same reason that the Jews wanted to stone Him.  He’s telling them who He is. 


He makes seven other statements like this throughout the Book of John and that’s what we’ll be studying.  The seven I am statements.  These are statements that demonstrate the Divinity of Jesus.  Next week we’ll look at the first of those statements:  I am the Bread of Life.

I AM - 1 - I AM the Bread of Life 

"I am the bread of life" (John 6:35,48,51).

Tonight we will continue our study of the seven I AM statements in the Book of John.  Last week we focused on the two statements that Jesus said that focused us on His divinity:

The first was “before Abraham was, I AM.”  He’s speaking of His timelessness.  He was there in the beginning.  What was the meaning of this bad grammar?  The second statement was to the temple guards, in the Garden of Gesthemene.  Jesus asked, “Whom do you seek?”  They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth…”  Jesus’ answer was, “I AM He.”  The Bible tells us the guards fell backward at His words.  Why?  What was it that caused them to fall backward?

Tonight we’re going to continue with this study, and we will look at the first of the seven I am statements, “I am the Bread of Life.”

So let’s begin with the overall text for this study:

John 8:56-59 (NKJV)
8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

So, we understand that this is Jesus making a declaration that He is God.  He references, Moses’ meeting with God at the burning bush.  God has called Moses to deliver His people from bondage in Egypt.  But Moses is hesitant; he’s already tried that and it was a big mistake.  So now God wants to send him to them again and he wants to be able to tell them who sent him.  So he asks God, “Whom shall I say sent me?”  And God answers and says, “tell them I AM sent you.”

So let’s move to today’s study.  Here’s today’s text:

John 6:31-35 (NKJV)
6:31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' " 32 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." 35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

So, Jesus is making a reference to Manna.  Let’s examine what the manna is all about:

It’s in Exodus 16.  The Israelites have escaped from Egypt.  They’ve crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, and the waters closed up over the pursuing Egyptians.  God delivered them through a powerful miracle.

But now they are out in the desert, more than 1 and ½ million people.  They’re running out of provisions and the people are getting upset at Moses AND at God:

Exodus 16:2-3 (NKJV)
16:2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, "Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."

God has a plan to take care of this problem:

Exodus 16:4 (NKJV)
16:4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

I think this is interesting enough to get off track about for a moment.  The Israelites are complaining to God.  Oh why couldn’t we say in Egypt where we had meat and leeks and all that?  Why did we have to come out here?  God doesn’t react in anger.  He doesn’t bring a plague.  He just says I’m going to rain bread from Heaven.

I think sometimes we are expecting God to do something and we complain.  God why are my finances not up where I think they should be?  I give, I tithe, but you’re not doing you’re part God.  Why am I sick, God?  You promised that we wouldn’t be sick.  They’ve laid hands on me lots of times, and your promise that they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover, but I’m still sick.

This scripture tells me that God can handle our complaining.  That God isn’t afraid of our complaints.  That God can sometimes even be moved by our complaints.  But it is also a test a to whether or not they’ll trust Him.  Here, don’t collect more than what you can eat in a day.  Can you trust me to provide more tomorrow?

Exodus 16:6-7 (NKJV)
16:6 Then Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, "At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt. And in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord; for He hears your complaints against the Lord. But what are we, that you complain against us?"

So Moses tells them At evening you shall know that the LORD brought you out of Egypt.  God will do another sign to show it is Him who rescued you:  One more act of power. 

Exodus 16:13-14 (NKJV)
16:13 So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. 14 And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground.

So God brought quails in to the camp.  He brought meat.  Quails were indigenous to this area.  They had seen them before they were common around.  Although in this instance God brought many o them so the people could have their fill.  So God is saying to them here, look at who has brought you out of Egypt.  I have met the needs.

But the next morning there was a dew on the ground and when the dew lifted, was a small round substance.  This was Manna.  What does manna mean?  It means whaat??? What did it taste like?

Exodus 16:30-31 (NKJV)
16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day. 31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

So, let’s think about this manna for a moment:

  1. It came from heaven
  2. It was like a bread
  3. God provided it to save His people
  4. And they ate of it.

Now let’s get to Jesus and His statement:

John 6:35 (NKJV)
6:35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

I am the Bread of Life.  Let’s compare Jesus to the statements I made about Manna:

It Came from Heaven: 

John 6:33 (NKJV)
6:33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

Manna came down from heaven.  Jesus also came down from heaven.  Jesus is God who became man and was sent to the earth to redeem mankind and bring eternal life. 

John 10:10 (NKJV)
10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

I have come to give life and that more abundantly.  In the desert all of the food needs of the Israelites were met through their daily collection of manna.  The food was abundant and nutritious.

Manna was like Bread:

Exodus 16:32 (NKJV)
16:32 Then Moses said, "This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: 'Fill an omer with it, to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.' "

God told Moses to save some of it in the Ark of the Covenant so that they could see the BREAD that He used to feed them when He brought them out of Egypt.  Jesus refers to Himself as the Bread of Life and the Bread of God.  Both of which could be used to describe Manna.


God Provided it to Save His People:

The Israelites were convinced that Moses and Aaron had brought them out to the desert to die:

Exodus 16:3 (NKJV)
16:3 And the children of Israel said to them, "Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."

You have brought us out here to kill us with hunger.  But God provided the Manna to save them.

Jesus also came to save:

Luke 2:10-11 (NKJV)
2:10 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

1 Timothy 1:15 (NKJV)
1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

Acts 5:30-31 (NKJV)
5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
Finally, They Ate It:

They collected and ate the Manna and it kept them alive for the forty years that they were wandering in the desert.  It was food for them:

And Jesus: 

John 6:54-57 (NKJV)
6:54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.

Jesus says that his flesh must be eaten and his blood drunk to have eternal life.  He’s speaking in a figurative sense on one hand, but on the other this is a reference to the communion service that will come in the last supper.

Mark 14:22-24 (NKJV)
14:22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, "This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.


Finally Jesus’ last statement in this monologue is to compare Himself to the Manna:

John 6:49-51 (NKJV)
6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."


So this whole thing is a declaration by jesus that he is the one sent by God to be the messiah.  He’s the one God sent to save people.  To redeem them back to a relationship with Him.  He is the bread of life.  That messiah is Emmanuel, “God among us.”  So this is a declaration that Jesus is God.

At the time a lot of people thought this was a hard saying.  They didn’t understand what He was saying. So they walked away from Him.  They didn’t like this declaration.  But the Apostles led by Peter caught what He said and what He meant.  Who knows that through this statement by Peter:

John 6:67-69 (NKJV)
6:67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Next week we will study the second I AM statement – "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12).



I AM 2 - I AM the Light of the World

Tonight, we’ll continue with our Bible Study, “The Seven I AM statements in the Book of John.” 

Before we go on, though, I want to review last week’s study:

  1. Jesus calls Himself the Bread of Life.  In our study He made a comparison to what Old Testament event?  God feeding Manna to the Israelites in the desert.
  2. What is the main difference that Jesus highlighted between Him and Manna?  He came to give eternal life, the manna just kept them alive.

So let’s move on.  First, let’s look at the text for the overall study:

John 8:56-59 (NKJV)
8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

This is a statement that Jesus made regarding His divinity.  He speaks of his timelessness:  Before Abraham was…he’s saying that He was before Abraham.  Abraham rejoiced to see His day.  We referred to John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word.  The word was with God, and the Word was God.  So jesus was in the beginning…He is Timeless.  He also gives the same name that was given to Moses in the burning bush.  Moses said, “Who shall I tell them sent me?”  And God answered from the bush, “Tell them I AM sent you.”  (Exodus 3:14)

Okay, so let’s look at today’s text:

John 8:12 (NKJV)
8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

Have you ever asked someone about something that has happened and they replied, “I’m in the dark about that.”  It simply means that they don’t know.  Sometimes we are “kept in the dark.”

Let’s think about darkness for a moment:

  1. Darkness makes it difficult to see.  It makes it difficult to see details.

Once as a college student, I went on a backpacking trip.  The place we were backing at was kind of far from where we lived and we arrived there after dark.  So we started to hike in by flashlight.  But then the flashlight broke and stopped working.  We walked a little further but because we were afraid that we’d get lost, we decided to stop and camp by the side of the trail. It was an awful night.  We were in high stickery weeds.  The ground wasn’t level it was a long, long night.  When we woke up the next morning and stood up to pack up our sleeping bags we found we were camped about 100ft from a picnic area with mowed grass and level floor.  Because of the darkness we couldn’t see it.

  1. Darkness can easily cause confusion.  Because we can’t see clearly, we miss details.  Some of those details are needed to get an accurate picture of what’s happening and what to do next.

When something happens in the dark it is very difficult for police to get an accurate sense of what happened because the witnesses couldn’t see clearly the events taking place.

  1. Darkness makes it difficult to follow a path.  Because we can’t see details it makes it difficult to know whether or not we have strayed from the path.

John 12:35 (NKJV)
12:35 Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.

Our cars have headlights for a reason.  Have you ever driven the car in darkness, without the lights on.  If there’s a good moon you can see well enough to find your way at low speed.  But if it’s overcast in can be extremely difficult to follow the road.

Once on a drive we went out the #7 cross-island highway to Yilan.  It got so dark by the time we got to Yilan that for a long time we couldn’t even see the trees along side the road.  Without our headlights reflecting the signs and the lines at the edge of the road, we would have had to stop.

Look at this verse in John Chapter 1:

John 1:6-9 (NKJV)
1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 

So here’s a statement by John that Jesus is the light. But look at this even more interesting statement:

John 1:4 -5 (NKJV)
1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

We, until we come to Jesus are in the darkness. 

Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV)
14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

So, we’re confused, we don’t see the truth; we’re going down a wrong path.  Then when we receive Jesus we have light.  We can see clearly.

Have you ever wondered why people seem to take Christians the wrong way?  The things we say; the things we believe?  Things like, “You’re judging me.”  When we comment about sin.  No, I’m not judging you…I’m trying to warn you.  “Christians HATE sinners,” it’s not animosity toward people but I have to be able to recognize sin, so I can judge it in my life.  “You think your better than us, “ it’s not that.  I don’t think I’m better than you, I’m telling you because I care about you.  Why are there those confusions?  Because of the darkness. 

But when Jesus uses this statement I am the light it is another declaration that He was the one sent.

Luke 1:78-79 (NKJV)
1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace."

This is Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist and he is prophesying aftert the birth of John.  He calls him the Dayspring from on high.  That word Dayspring means the dawn.  The literal translation is the rising of light. 

Jesus is declaring Himself the to be the light that’s rising.  He is the Dayspring from on High.  So “I am the light of the world,” is another statement that Jesus is God. 

This statement I am the light of the world, let’s look at the context of it for a moment:

The context of this moment is the woman caught in adultery.  He is in the middle of teaching a group of people at the temple.  There are a number of people there and in the middle of that they bring this woman:

John 8:3-11 (NKJV)
8:3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

They bring this woman to Him and tell him, “Moses said to stone her…but what do YOU say?”  He ignores them and begins to write in the dirt.  They’re testing Him.  They’re looking for Him to violate Moses word, (which, of course was the law), so they can grab Him.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

Then he stands us and says, “If you’ve never sinned, then you throw the first stone.”  But we are all sinners; we have all violated the will of God.

Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

So the men were convicted of their sin and they drifted away.  They all had sin.  jesus never gave them what they wanted which was a reason to arrest him.  He completely turned the table on them.

Immediately after this, He turns back to the people He was teaching and says, “I am the light of the world.”

In this context what he’s saying is I have shined the light of truth on the world.  When the sun comes up the confusion disappears.  He’s exposed their sin.  He’s pushed away the darkness. 

When he comes into us, we are supposed be a light in the world as well:

John 12:36 (NKJV)
12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

While you have the light believe in the light.  He was speaking of Himself to the people.  While I’m here believe in me.   That you can become Sons of light.  We are supposed to be sons of light:

Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)
5:14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

This is a calling on us.  Be a light.  Reflect the light of God.  Do the things that Jesus did.  Expose sin and darkness.  Dispel confusion by preaching the word of God. 
Two other things about light quickly:

  1. Nortonville caves light story.  A small match made the caves so bright.  Darkness cannot stand in the presence of light.  Light will dispel datrkness.
  2. Light is visible in the darkness and we are drawn to it.
I n the desert it’s very dark.  But if a light is on its visible it can be seen for miles.  We should be able to be seen as Christians.  The light in us should be visible.  And it should be able to draw people to it.

I AM 3 - I AM the Door of the Sheep

I am the door of the sheep – John 10:7-9

Tonight, we’re going to continue our study on the seven I am statements in the Book of John.  We’ve been studying how Jesus stated that he was God.  But before we continue let’s review a little from last week.

  1. What are the three things that darkness causes?  1. It makes it difficult to see (details are hidden).  2.  It can cause confusion.  3.  It makes it difficult to follow a path.
  2. The context of this statement “I am the Light of the World,” was the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus made this statement to the people that He was teaching.  What did He mean by that statement?  1.  As light He exposes sin.  2.  It is a reference to Zacharias’ prophecy – The Dayspring.  (The rising of the light).  This is a reference to Him being the one sent by God.

So tonight we’ll continue in our study:

Text:

John 8:56-59 (NKJV)
8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

This is a direct statement from Jesus that He’s God.    he speaks first of His timelessness…Before Abraham was… That he was there before Abraham’s time.  He existed before Abraham.  Then He says, I am.  “Before Abraham was, I AM.”  He sues the name God called Himself when He spoke to Moses.  I AM it’s a name for God.  With this statement Jesus was saying, “I am God.” 

So those people who say, “Jesus never said He was God.  Jesus was a prophet and teacher.”  Jesus Himself says, I’m God with that one statement, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” 

So, tonight we’re going to look at the third statement Jesus makes about His divinity, “I am the door to the sheep.”

John 10:7-9 (NKJV)
10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

So, first, let’s look at the context of this statement:

Jesus is talking about the imposters, false messiahs.  Look at the first verses of the conversation:

John 10:1-2 (NKJV)
10:1 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

So he begins by saying that unless you came into the sheepfold (literally translated as animal yard or pasture) through the proper entrance, then you’re a thief or robber.  Think about it.  One who sneaks into a place isn’t going to do the right thing is he?  So someone who is coming in to steal the sheep would come in by a different way than the proper entrance. 

The one who enters through the proper entrance is the shepherd.  He is the one who LEGITIMATELY leads the sheep.  So what is the proper entrance for the Shepherd in this case?  Who has come in to legitimately lead the sheep?  First we have to determine some things.

  1. What does the sheepfold represent?  It represents Israel; the nation.
  2. If that’s so who are the sheep that are in the sheepfold?  The people
  3. How would you legitimately enter the nation to lead the people?  This is in a spiritual sense.  The only way to legitimately enter to spiritually lead the people would be in answer to the prophecies.

So Jesus is saying here that He is the one entering legitimately…He is the answer to the prophecies.  Or you could say he came in legally; under the law:

Galatians 4:4 (NKJV)
4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

Look at some of the prophecies.  In fact, Jesus’ birth and life was a fulfillment of 300 prophecies but let’s look at just a couple of them:

  1. He came in the lineage of David:

Luke 1:32 (NKJV)
1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

In the time of Jesus’ birth there was a census ordered by Caesar.  The census called for all men to return to the city of their fathers.  Bethlehem was the city of Jesse, David’s father.  So Joseph was a descendant of David.  But in reality Joseph isn’t Jesus’ father.  God is His Father. 
Mary was also a descendent of David.  WE can see this through the genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3:

First Matthew 1:16

Matthew 1:16 (NKJV)
1:16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

This verse states that Joseph is the son of Jacob.  But look at this:

Luke 3:23 (NKJV)
3:23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,

So this verse says that Joseph is the son of Heli.  In Jewish custom at the time woman were not used in lineages.  It was the father that was used.  So Joseph is named as the father and the son of (Jacob/Heli).  However, it can be taken that Jacob is Joseph’s father so he is Jacob’s son, and then Heli would be Mary’s father, so Joseph would be his son-in-law.  That can be shortened to son.

It’s interesting, when I’m talking to Branda about Sam’s family she always calls sam’s father, daddy.   But he’s Sam’s dad not hers.  This is the same kind of thing.

So Jesus is legally in the lineage of David and also in the lineage of David by birth (blood).

  1. He was born in bethlehem.  Here is the prophecy:

Micah 5:2 (NKJV)
5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."
Of course, we know that Jesus was born in a stable in the city of Bethlehem:  The city of Joseph’s lineage.

  1. He was born of a virgin:

Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)
7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Remember the circumstances at Jesus’ birth.  Mary was betrothed (engaged) to Joseph.  When he found out she was pregnant.  He, of course assumed the worst but he was told in a dream that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit:

Matthew 1:18-20 (NKJV)
1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

The angel tells Joseph that Jesus was conceived through the Holy Spirit.

  1. He was a “rod of the stem of Jesse.”

Isaiah 11:1 (NKJV)
11:1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

Once again a reference to the lineage of David.  Jesse is David’s father.

So jesus is legally entitled to be the “shepherd of the sheep.”  He is the one who has come through the proper door.  He is entitled to enter into the sheepfold.

There is another thing to see here:

Jesus is the shepherd – The one who will lead the sheep from one place to another.  The place where they are (Earth) to the place they will go (Heaven).  This is what shepherds do.  Since He is the one to legitimately lead the sheep he is the shepherd.  This is a reference to Psalm 23:2:

Psalms 23:2 (NKJV)
23:2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

The shepherd leads the sheep to a place of security and safety and leads them to LIE DOWN in green pastures.  What doies that mean.  What does the green pasture represent?  Is it food and abundance, no brings them there to lie down.  So what is it.  It is rest and peace.  He sets them there because thre are no enemies, no wolves no danger for the sheep.  It is a place of safety, that’s why they are led there.  But why lie down.  It is also a place of rest.  They come there to get rest.  Look at this other statement that Jesus makes:

Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)
11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

This is Jesus speaking of the Kingdom of God.  He’s speaking about eternity.  Heaven will be a place of safety.  Satan will not be able to attack us; there will be no enemies there. 

Having entered through Him we will have the freedom to come and go as we please, dwelling in a state of peace in the midst of plenty.  Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6).

Psalms 23:6 (NKJV)
23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.


So in this verse:

John 10:7 (NKJV)
10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

Jesus is making the atatement that he is the One who has the RIGHT to be in the sheepfold.  He is the one sent to guide and protect the sheep:  To bring them to eternal rest and safety.  HE IS THE SHEPHERD.  The only one who is legitimate…In other words He is God.

I AM 4 - I AM the Good Shepherd

I am the good shepherd – John 10:11-14

Tonight we’re continuing in our study, “The Seven I AM Statements in the Book of John.”  We’re going to examine more closely the statement, “I am the Good Shepherd.”  Before we continue, though, I want to review a bit from last week:

  1. Last week we talked about the LEGITIMATE leader f the sheep.  We said that the legitimate or legal leader of the sheep comes into the sheepfold the proper way.  What did we say was the proper way?  According to prophecy.
  2. Can you name some of the prophecies we talked about last week?  A descendant of David; Born in Bethlehem; Born of a virgin; a rod of the stem of Jesse.
  3. Jesus is the Shepherd.  What Psalm did this statement relate to?  Psalm 23

So let’s begin by looking at the text for the overall study:

John 8:56-59 (NKJV)
8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

This is a statement that Jesus made speaking to the aspect of His Divinity.  Jesus is saying here that He’s God.  He speaks first of His timelessness.  He was in the beginning.  He was before Abraham.  And then he says I AM.  This is a name for God.  So this is Jesus making the declaration that He’s God.

He makes a number of statements alluding to the fact that he’s not only man but also God:  Fully man and fully God.

John 1:1 (NKJV)
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

There are a number of other statements in the Bible where Jesus alludes to the fact that He is God.  Tonight we’re going to look at the fourth statement of Jesus’ divinity in the Book of John:

John 10:11-14 (NKJV)
10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

We all know that the shepherd is the leader of the sheep.  He is the one who leads them from one place to another.  Jesus is saying that He is the leader of the sheep.  Remember last week we talked about what Jesus meant by the sheepfold?  What did He mean when he used that phrase?  The sheepfold was what?  It was the nation of Israel.  So who are the sheep?  They’re the people of Israel. 

So the shepherd comes to lead the people of Israel.  He will be the “King of the Jews.”  He will lead them from earth to where?  Heaven.  So this is what he’s talking about.

He began this conversation with them in verse 7:

John 10:7-9 (NKJV)
10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

So this statement, “I am the good shepherd,” is a continuation of the other statement. “I am the door of the sheep.”  But in this part He begins to go into a bit more detail.  This statement is a statement that’s borne of prophecy:

Isaiah 40:11 (NKJV)
40:11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.

This statement is a look to the future.  Isaiah is looking into the future at the one whom God will send:  The anointed one, the savior.  That’s what Isaiah is referring to.  He’s saying that One is coming who will care for the sheep as if they are His own.

Jesus references this with the statement in John 10: 12-13:

John 10:12-13 (NKJV)
10:12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.

The hireling doesn’t care about the sheep.  The sheep don’t belong to them.  They’re careless about them.  They’re not willing to risk themselves for the sheep.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  He is willing to give His life for the sheep.  They BELONG  to Him.

John 6:39 (NKJV)
6:39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.

Jesus is speaking here of us:  Those that were given to Him by the Father.  What does Jesus says about being drawn to Him?

John 6:44 (NKJV)
6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

The Father draws us to Jesus.  Another way of saying that is that God, the Father, gives us to Him. “Of all that he has given me I should lose nothing, but RAISE it up on the last day.  What will be raised on the last day?  We will.  We will stand alive for judgemet on the last day.  We will be raised from the dead:

Revelation 20:11-12 (NKJV)
20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

Revelation 20:13-15 (NKJV)
13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

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The shepherd leads the sheep so the sheep FOLLOW.  Do you follow Jesus?  Do you allow Him to lead you, to guide you?  Is He able to guide and direct your life?

Are you one of the sheep?  Look at verse 14 of our text:

John 10:14 (NKJV)
10:14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

First, does Jesus know you?  “I am the Good Shepherd, I know my sheep.”  How do we know that Jesus knows us?  We can begin to understand this when we look at Matthew 7:21-23.

Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)
7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

Let’s break this down shall we? 

Matthew 7:21 (NKJV)
7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

So not everyone who cries out to Jesus for salvation shall enter te kingdom of God.  We hear an expression sometimes that goes like this:  Once saved always saved.  There is an implication there that once we cry out to Jesus we’re saved and we can never fall out of grace.  No matter what we do after that we will see the kingdom of God.  But this scripture seems to say that there is a criterion after we pray for salvation that must be followed.  We must do the will of the father.  What s the will of God?  His commands, His purpose for our lives.  Those things must be followed.

But this relates to another scripture look at this:

John 3:3 (NKJV)
3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Being born again must be the Will of the Father, because we cannot SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD unless we are born again.  Being born again means that we have repented.  We have confessed our sin and turned our back on it.  That word repent literally means to turn around.  As if you’re going in one direction you repent turn around and go in another direction.  There is an implication of change.  You’re no longer following the path you were before now you are going in a different direction.

There is more to salvation and finding the kingdom than just believing.  It takes more than faith:

James 2:18-20 (NKJV)
2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

We must be willing to respond to the call of God on our lives.

Look now at verse 22:

Matthew 7:22 (NKJV)
7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'

These are the signs of the believers: 

Mark 16:17-18 (NKJV)
16:17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

So this is written to believers.  It isn’t written to sinners.  We must be willing to do the will of the Father to SEE the Kingdom of God.  Do you know there’s a calling on your life?  You are able to do those things so that other people can see the power of God in you and be drawn.  Being able to do those things doesn’t mean that are APPROVED by God.  In other words, if you can do those things it doesn’t mean that God thinks highly of you, or that God approves of what you’re doing.  It simply means you’re a believer.  God has given you those things so that you CAN do His will.

Finally look at this:

Matthew 7:23 (NKJV)
7:23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

 I never knew you, you who practice lawlessness.  He knows us when we do the will of the Father.  When we live according to the commands of God and when we live according to the purposes of God.  Then He knows us.  In John 10:14 it says I know my sheep. He knows if you are right with God. 

Then the verse goes on to say:  My sheep know me.  Who is a follower of Christ? 

Luke 18:18-21 (NKJV)
18:18 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 19 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 20 You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother.' " 21 And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth."

Luke 18:22-23 (NKJV)
22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

So you’ve heard this story before.  Jesus tells the “Rich Young Ruler” If you want Eternal Life then do these things.  He brings out the Law.  If you want salvation then follow the law.  The young man tells I have always done these things.  So Jesus tells Him “Okay then sell everything give to the poor and follow me.”  He’s not telling Him Christians need to be poor.  He’s telling Him you need to trust me.  You need to put me first.  Don’t trust in your riches trust in me. 

How do you know whom the sheep know?  The sheep will follow the one they know.  The sheep know the shepherds voice, they know his smell, they know his profile.  They recognize him as their leader and they follow him.  We as sheep of the Good Shepherd know Him and we FOLLOW him. 

I AM 5 - I AM the Resurrection and the Life

I am the Resurrection and the Life

Today, we’re going to look at the 5th I am statement of the Book of John.  I am the resurrection and the life.  But before we do let’s take a moment to review a bit from last week.

  1. What is the difference between the hireling and the shepherd?  The shepherd cares about the sheep and will give his life for them.  The hireling will flee.
  2. Jesus makes the statement I am the good shepherd in John 10:11.  What is the qualification of a good shepherd? .  The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.
  3. In Matthew 7:21, Jesus is talking about who shall enter the kingdom of God.  Who is qualified to enter the Kingdom of God?  Those who do the will of the Father.


Let’s begin to look at today’s topic.  Before we begin, though, we want to look at the text for the overall study:

John 8:56-59 (NKJV)
8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

This is a statement that Jesus made speaking to the aspect of His Divinity.  Jesus is saying here that He’s God.  He speaks first of His timelessness.  He was in the beginning.  He was before Abraham.  And then he says I AM.  This is a name for God.  So this is Jesus making the declaration that He’s God.

Today we’re going to examine another statement that Jesus makes that speaks to His divinity.  It’s found in John 11:25

John 11:25 (NKJV)
11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

Let’s begin by looking at the context of this statement.  This is taking place after a friend of Jesus has died.  Jesus had been called earlier but didn’t come:

John 11:1-4 (NKJV)
11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

Lazarus is sick.  He hasn’t died at this point.  He’s still alive but very sick.  So his sisters call Jesus.  And in this you can see the relationship between Jesus and Lazarus.  “The one whom you love is sick.”  This is someone that Jesus cares about and he’s dying.  We also see that Jesus has a relationship with Lazarus’ sisters:  “It was that Mary who anointed His feet with fragrant oils and wiped them with her hair.”  So these people are important to Jesus.  They’re serious believers.  Jesus makes a statement here that is really important.  What is it?  What is the statement that’s so important? “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Look at this:

John 11:5-6 (NKJV)
11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.

So Jesus loves them, but he doesn’t go.  He hesitates. 

“Lazarus is dying, come to him.”

“I love Lazarus, let’s stay for two more days.”

Does that sound like He loves them.  It doesn’t ion one hand, but on the other hand this is something that is meant to demonstrate the glory of God and to glorify Jesus.  There’s a purpose here, so basically, Jesus had to wait until Lazarus had died to go there.  He’s going to show Him who He really is.  He’s going to demonstrate the power of God to raise the dead.  Only Go can do that.  We can’t do that.  You need the power of God to raise the dead.  Jesus is going to show them that He has the Power of God.  So He waits:

John 11:11-15 (NKJV)
11:11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." 12 Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him."

So Jesus waits until Lazarus is dead and then He goes to Judea.  Jesus says “he sleeps.”  The disciples think Jesus means h is resting in order to get well.  But Jesus means lazarus ids dead.  Then he makes a powerful statement, “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.” That’s interesting isn’t it?  He’s talking to His disciples.  These are the one who follow Him.  These are the one who have tied themselves to Him. 

When jesus was talking about going to Judea, they were warning Him that he would be killed.  But He said, “I’m going anyway.”  Look at what Thomas said:

John 11:16 (NKJV)
11:16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."

They’re going to kill Him in Judea, but let’s go and die with Him.  So, how can Jesus make the statement That you may believe?  Doesn’t it seem like they must believe something about Him.  Thomas is willing to follow Him into death at this moment.   People don’t do that if they’re not pretty sure that the one they’re following is right.

They may believe what he’s teaching, but I’m thinking that they haven’t come to the belief that He’s God.

Finally, He arrives at Bethany, and Lazarus has been in the grave for 4 days, already.  Look at the conversation He has with Martha:

John 11:21-24 (NKJV)
11:21 Then Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." 23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

This is the crux of the whole thing.  There has been prophecy about the resurrection.  People have been taught about the resurrection on the last day.  These people are Jews they’ve been taught the prophecies.  This is a prophecy of Daniel:

Daniel 12:1-2 (NKJV)
12:1 "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

So first Daniel talks about the t5ribulation…There will be a time of trouble, such as never was before.”  This is the tribulation.  The tribulation will take place before the great judgment.  And then there will be the resurrection and all people will be judged.

Your people shall be delivered Everyone who is found in the book.  What book is he talking about?

Revelation 20:13-15 (NKJV)
20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

So he’s talking about the Book of Life.  This is vitally important for what we’re talking about here.  Jesus has come to Judea AFTER the death of Lazarus so that they can believe.  How do you get your name in the Book of Life?  (Go back to the play Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames.)  So deliverance will come for those who believe in what?  Who Jesus is and what He has come for:

John 3:16 (NKJV)
3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

So let’s go back now to the conversation that Jesus is having with Martha:

John 11:23-24 (NKJV)
11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

Jesus tells Martha “your brother will rise again.”  And she says, “I know, He will rise on the last day.”  She is accepting this prophecy.  She believes that there will be a resurrection and life afterward.  Then Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

We will have life through Him.  We will be raised and have eternal life through Him.  He’s saying to Martha, “I am the power behind the resurrection.  He will have eternal life through me.”

Then he goes on and shows them that power:

John 11:43-44 (NKJV)
11:43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

It’s an illustration to what He had said, “I am the power behind the resurrection.  I’m the one who gives life.” Look, Lazarus, come out of the tomb, you don’t belong there.  I’m giving you life, right now.”  And the Bible says the people that were there believed:

John 11:45 (NKJV)
11:45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.

But there were some who saw all of that and still didn’t believe:

John 11:46 (NKJV)
11:46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did.
Some people chose not to believe.  They went to the Pharisees and told them al of that and the Pharisees decided that Jesus had to die. 

So the question tonight is what about you?  What do you believe about Jesus?  You have the Bible, which is a faithful witness of the power and life of Jesus.  Can you believe what it says about Him?  You are seeing this event through an eyewitness.  Can you trust him about what he says happened?

2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)
3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

This is given to us through God’s inspiration.  Can you trust it.  Because what happens in the end and when you stand before God will depend on what?  Whether or not you name is in that book.  If it is it means that you have believed and seen the glory of God.

Jesus in this statement, “I am the resurrection and the life” is making the statement that He’s the power behind the resurrection and the judgment.  In other words He is GOD!

I AM 6 - I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life

"I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).

Today we will continue with the Seven I AM statements in the Book of John,” and specifically we will look at the statement I am the way the truth and the life. in John 14:6.

First let’s review a bit from last week:

  1. Lazarus was sick and died.  Jesus had been called to come and heal him but he tarried for 2 days.  Jesus made the statement that Lazurus wasn’t sick unto death, but for what?  The Glory of God and that the Son may be glorified.
  2. When Lazarus died and Jesus went to Him he said, Lazarus sleeps, meaning Lazarus had died.  He says that He was glad that he was not there, why not?  Why was Jesus glad that he wasn’t there?  So that the disciples could believe.
  3. When he said I am the resurrection and the life.  What was the resurrection He was referring to?  The one on the Last Day.  Who prophesied it?  Daniel

So let’s move on, first let’s look at the text for the Overall study:

John 8:56-59 (NKJV)
8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

This is Jesus’ definitive statement that he is God.  He speaks of His timelessness:  Before Abraham was.  Jesus was saying that he was there in the beginning.   Then He says the words, “I AM” Yahweh.  The name God gave to Moses to tell the people who had sent him.  He’s basically saying “I’m God.”

Today we’re going to look specifically at the statement that Jesus made in John 14:6:

John 14:6 (NKJV)
14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

In order to look closely at this we want to break it down into three parts.  I am the way.  I am the truth.  And I am the Truth.

I am the Way:

This is a powerful statement isn’t it?  Jesus says I am the way.  There is only one path that leads to God:  The place where God is.  We call it salvation there is only one path to that salvation and Jesus says right here. I am THAT path. 

This is one statement that really irritates some people.  It’s so exclusive.  Unless you follow Jesus you will not make it to Heaven.  It’s not just that He shows us the way…He is the way.

Look at what was happening when He made this statement. 

John 13:33 (NKJV)
13:33 Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you cannot come,' so now I say to you.

Where I am going you cannot come.  But the disciples were confused.  They didn’t understand what he meant by that?

John 13:36 (NKJV)
13:36 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward."

Jesus, of course was talking about His death.  He was prophesying that He would return for us.  But they just thought He was going to take a trip. Then He says this:

John 14:1-4 (NKJV)
14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know."

He’s preparing the disciples that he’s leaving.  He’s really speaking of His death.  I go to prepare a place in “My Father’s House.”  He had been telling them that He would be leaving them soon:

They still don’t know where He’s going or what He’s talking about.  But we do right?  He’s going to soon be arrested and tried and crucified.  Then He will spend three days in the earth:

Matthew 12:40 (NKJV)
12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Then He will resurrect, and finally after 40 days ascend into Heaven to si8t at the right hand of the Father.  This is what Jesus is talking about.  This is where He’s going that they can’t follow.  Then He tells them “Where I go you know and you know THE WAY.” (Emphasis mine.)

Thomas then resonds that “we don’t even know where you’re going.  How can we know the way?”  And Jesus replies, “I am the way.”
Other religious philosophies, like Hinduism for example tell us, “There are many different paths to God.”  
 


Source: Hinduism: Spiritual Science Research Foundation: About Us: http://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/aboutus

Many Paths:  Spritual Science Research Foundation:  “There are as Many Paths to God as There are People.”
http://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/spiritualresearch/happiness/spirituality/spirituality_generalconcepts_e

But Jesus makes a definitive statement, “I am the ONLY way.”  No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus is saying that he is the path to salvation.  That he is the only way to get to the Kingdom of God.  Look at this in the Book of Acts:

Acts 4:12 (NKJV)
4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

I Am the Truth:

The second part of this statement is I am the Truth.  This is another thing that people hate.  People say it’s so dogmatic.  But dogmatism is the nature of truth, isn’t it?  Truth can’t be any other way.  Truth is truth.  Let me give you an example.

I knew this woman, when I was young that was the most dogmatic and narrow-minded person I ever met.  She was a teacher and she insisted that 2 + 2 = 4.  It didn’t matter what you used.  Apples: 2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples.  It could be cows; it didn’t matter.  It didn’t matter whether or not you agreed. No matter what anyone else believed 2 + 2 was always equal to 4.

That’s the nature of truth.  Truth is truth…It can’t be any other way.  Knowing the truth has a benefit:

John 8:31-32 (NKJV)
8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Set us free from what?  The bondage of sin. 

John 8:34-36 (NKJV)
8:34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Who is able to forgive sin?  Can anyone you know make your sin go away?  To sin is to violate the will of God.  The one you damage through sin is God.  We hurt people through our sin and that person can forgive you for that, but only God can forgive the damage done to God.  If I sin against one person another person can’t forgive me fr that.  Only the one who has been damage can forgive me.  Only God can forgive sin against God.  Only God can make you free from sin.  ONLY God can do that. 

The Life:

Look at this scripture for a moment:

John 1:1-4 (NKJV)
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

God spoke the world into existence.  He created the universe through His word. The scripture calls Jesus the Word.  Do you remember a while back that I did a Bible Study and I showed through the scriptures that Jesus was the Word of God?  The proof is in John 1:14

John 1:14 (NKJV)
1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

So Jesus is the Word and John 1:4 tells us the Word is life.  In Him was life.

Conclusion:

So this statement by Jesus is a declaration as to who He is.  He is the way, the truth, and the life. So he is the only on who can bring salvation.  There is no one else who can give you salvation.

So what does this mean for us.  How can we apply this to our lives.  We hold the key to eternal life within us.  We can bring people to Jesus and through Him they can find salvation, freedom and eternal life.  That’s what Jesus said.  I am the way the truth and the life. 

If we look around our community, there are so many people who don’t have this knowledge.  They are groping their way to God.  They’re looking for God and can’t find Him because they don’t know the way.

Acts 17:26 (NKJV)
17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,

There is no difference in people in God’s eyes.  His desire is for everyone to come to Him:

Acts 17:30 (NKJV)
17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

We have the answer.  We can bring them to Jesus and let them see the truth for themselves. 
s statement, “I am the resurrection and the life” is making the statement that He’s the power behind the resurrection and the judgment.  In other words He is GOD!

I AM 7 - I AM the True Vine

"I am the true vine" (John 15:1,5).

This is the final section of this study of the “Seven I am Statements in the Book of John.”  Tonight we’ll study I am the true vine.  But before we begin let’s review from last week.

We looked at 3 sections of the statement I am the way the truth and the life.  So

  1. I am the way, we said referred to what?  The way to the Father.  Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
  2. What is the benefit of Truth?  It sets you free.
  3. What does “the life” refer to?  Eternal Life.

So now let’s take a look at the overall study’s scripture:

John 8:56-59 (NKJV)
8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

This is Jesus’ definitive statement that he is God.  He speaks of His timelessness:  Before Abraham was.  Jesus was saying that he was there in the beginning.   Then He says the words, “I AM” Yahweh.  The name God gave to Moses to tell the people who had sent him.  He’s basically saying “I’m God.”

Today we’re going to look specifically at the statement that Jesus made in John 15:1-5:

John 15:1-5 (NKJV)
15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Let me start with a little context here.  This is called part of the “Upper Room Discourse.”  So it is presumed that Jesus spoke this in the upper room, but the last verse of the chapter before says:

John 14:31 (NKJV)
14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

A lot of commentators think that it might have taken place in the Kidron Valley, where they had to go to get to the Mount of Olives.  But it may also have happened in front of the gates of the temple, which had a carving of a vine on it.  The vine represented Israel:

Psalms 80:8-9 (NKJV)
80:8 You have brought a vine out of Egypt; You have cast out the nations, and planted it. You prepared room for it, And caused it to take deep root, And it filled the land.

And there’s this:

Isaiah 5:1-3 (NKJV)
5:1 Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, And also made a winepress in it; So He expected it to bring forth good grapes, But it brought forth wild grapes. "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.

Isaiah 5:4-7 (NKJV)
What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes? And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will lay it waste; It shall not be pruned or dug, But there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds That they rain no rain on it." For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.


Part 1 – The Genuine Vine

But the word translated as true in verse 1 literally means “genuine”.  So Jesus is saying I’m the genuine or real vine.  So what he was saying is that identification with the nation and with Judaism is not what is essential it is identification with Him that essential. 

If you think about it, the Pharisees often argued with Jesus about the importance of identifying with the nation and the religion.

We saw it in the argument they made about being the children of Abraham. 

We saw it in the argument about the woman caught in adultery:  We caught this woman in the very act of adultery; MOSES said she should be stoned, but what do YOU say?

John 8:3-6 (NKJV)
8:3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

The Pharisees are identifying with their tradition and their religion.  But Jesus is making a breakout statement in our text.  He says, It’s not the religion that is essential to God.  It is belief in Jesus that’s essential.

I am the Genuine vine.  It is me that you need to identify with:

I am the Bread of Life. – I am the life giving food from God

I am the light of the world. – I bring you out of confusion and darkness

I am the door of the sheep – I am the legitimate entrance to the Kingdom of God

I am the Good Shepherd – I am the one who will lead you to the Kingdom

I am the resurrection and the life – I am the giver of Eternal life.

I am the way the truth and the life – I am the one way to the father.  I am the truth that’s sets you free; I am the giver of eternal life.

All of the statements are basically the Gospel.  This is Jesus showing us that He is the essential one.  He is the one who will take us to the Father and give us eternal life.  There is no other:

Acts 4:12 (NKJV)
4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Part 2 – In Me

John 15:2-3 (NKJV)
15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

"In me," that is, in Christ, is what it means to be saved. There are tremendous words like propitiation, (Substitute) reconciliation, (To come back together) and redemption (To be purchased back from bondage) that cover parts of salvation, but the entire spectrum of salvation is in the phrase "in Christ." 

There are only two groups of people: those who are in Christ and those who are not in Christ. How do you get "in Christ"? By the new birth.

John 3:2-3 (NKJV)
3:2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

When you believe that Jesus is your Savior, you become a child of God through faith.

John 1:12 (NKJV)
1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

 You are born again by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit does something else: He not only indwells you, but He also baptizes you.

John 1:32-33 (NKJV)
1:32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'

That is what puts every believer into the body of Christ -- "every branch in me."

Part 3 – Much fruit

John 15:4-5 (NKJV)
15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

That word translated as abide means to live in.  In other words if we live in the things of Jesus; if we have constant communion (fellowship) with Him we will bear fruit.  We need to be daily in prayer and study of the words of Jesus:  The life of Jesus:  The word of God.  This is where fruitfulness comes from.

In my own life, I’ve noticed that when I pray every day I do better in my salvation; I’m happier.  It seems like the things I want to accomplish for Jesus are more easily accomplished.  Another way of saying that is I produce more fruit.

Look at this parable:

Matthew 13:3-9 (NKJV)
13:3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

So look at how Jesus explains it:

Matthew 13:18-19 (NKJV)
13:18 "Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

So in this part jesus is describing people who are insensitive to the Gospel.  They hear it, they accept it, but they don’t cultivate it in their hearts.  They don’t spend time understanding or studying it.  They receive it, but don’t abide in it.  These are the ones that are easily taken by Satan.  They drift off.  They continue to sin and eventually they fall away and back into sin.

Matthew 13:20-22 (NKJV)
20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

These are the people who allow the things of the world to overshadow the things of God.  They’re concerned about trials and persecutions.  They let the things people say influence them.  How many know that people will attack you for your stand for Jesus.  Someone asked Yi Ting, the other day, “Why do you stay here?”  They were really attacking the church, but if she had let this influence her she could easily be pulled out of the kingdom of God. 

Matthew 13:23 (NKJV)
23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."


But these are the ones who ABIDE  in Jesus.  They pray, they study the Bible.  They attend church.  He is a priority in their everyday life and they are the ones who continually get stronger in their belief in jesus.  They’re the ones who produce fruit.  This is why I am always saying you need to PRAYREAD your Bible and COME to church.  Those are the things that will make serving God rewarding and fruitful.  Those are the things that will keep you in the will of God.  Hundredfold is a lot of fruit.


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