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Back to the Basics - Who is Jesus Christ?

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Notes & Transcripts

Text: Gospel of John

Thesis: To see Jesus as He described Himself in His “I Am” statements.

Introduction:

(1)    Jesus once asked Peter: “But who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16.15).

(2)    Who is Jesus?  Let Him tell us …

Discussion:

I.                   “I am the bread of life” (John 6.48)

A.    “In that age, bread was essential to every meal, the staff of life, a fit emblem of Christ the soul's food” (Coffman).

B.     “The crowd is reminded that people who ate the manna not only got hungry again, ‘they died,’ which refers to physical death, not eternal death.  Thus, the manna was no different from any other earthly bread.  It only temporarily satisfied physical hunger, and it did not keep them from physical death.  But ‘the bread which comes down from heaven’ (present tense), which is continually available to the believer, one may ‘eat’ and it will satisfy him so that he will never ‘die,’ which refers to spiritual and eternal death” (LWC).

II.                “I am the light of the world” (John 8.12; 9.5)

A.    “Jesus professed to be not only the inexhaustible source of spiritual nourishment, but he also was the genuine light by which truth and falsehood could be distinguished and by which direction could be established. Perhaps Jesus drew his illustration from the great candlestick or Menorah that was lighted during the Feast of Tabernacles and cast its light over the Court of the Women where Jesus was teaching. The Menorah was to be extinguished after the feast, but his light would remain” (EBC).

B.     “This light is not so much the light of knowledge dispelling the darkness of ignorance as it is the light of salvation, grace, and holiness against the darkness of condemnation, sin, and despair.  Matthew had seen the fulfillment of Isa. 9:1,2, in the ministry of Jesus in Galilee, a ministry in which a great light would shine upon the people who walked in darkness (Matt. 4:15,16).  Isaiah had promised that light would come and the glory of the Lord would shine forth from Zion (Isa. 60:1-3).  Jesus again repeated this statement in John 9:5 in connection with opening the eyes of the blind man.  As the light of the world, he saves human beings, delivering them from darkness so that the follower of Jesus no longer will walk in ‘darkness’ but will possess ‘the light of life’ (cf. 1 John 1:5)” (LWC).

III.             “I am the door” (John 10.7, 9)

A.    “As ‘the door’ Jesus claimed to be the way for the sheep to come in and have protection and care.  For the sheep to have the safety, protection, and rest that the fold would provide they must come to him (cf. Matt. 11:28-30).  Jesus is the way to God (John 14:6), providing ‘access ... to the Father’ (Eph. 2:18)” (LWC).

B.     “The emphatic singular pronoun ‘I’ (ego) emphasizes that the shepherd is the sole determiner of who enters the fold and who is excluded” (EBC).

IV.             “I am the good shepherd” (John 10.11, 14)

A.    “While the emphasis of ‘the door’ is entrance into salvation, freedom, and sustaining life, the focus of ‘I am the good shepherd’ is his giving his life for the sheep” (LWC).

B.     He is “the faithful and true shepherd, willing to do all that is necessary to defend and save the flock” (Barnes' Notes).

V.                “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11.25)

A.    “Not only is he the source of physical life in this present age, but also of spiritual life, eternal life, which is the life of God present in this age and continuing for the age to come (John 1:4; 10:10).  The Father had given the Son power to have life and to give life (John 5:26-29).  Not only does the one who ‘believes in Jesus’ have eternal life now in fellowship with God and His Son (John 17:3) but, ‘though he die’ physically, he shall also live because the final resurrection cancels out death and its power” (LWC).

B.     Jesus’ resurrection is proof of our resurrection (cf. 1 Cor. 15).

VI.             “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14.6)

-          “Jesus' reply is the ultimate foundation for a satisfactory philosophy of life. First, it is personal. He did not claim merely to know the way, the truth, and the life as a formula he could impart to the ignorant; but he actually claimed to be the answer to human problems. Jesus' solution to perplexity is not a recipe; it is a relationship with him. Second, he did not counter Thomas's skepticism with an argument or a quotation drawn from his memory. He responded with an authoritative assertion as the master of life. He is the way to the Father because only he has an intimate knowledge of God unmarred by sin. He is the truth because he has the perfect power of making life one coherent experience irrespective of its ups and downs. He is the life because he was not subject to death but made it subject to him. He did not live with death as the ultimate end of his life; he died to demonstrate the power and continuity of his life. Because he is the way, the truth, and the life, he is the only means of reaching the Father. Jesus was not exhibiting a narrow arrogance. Rather, he was making the only possible deduction from the fact that he, the unique Son, was the sole means of access to the Father. Jesus' claim parallels the author's pronouncement: ‘No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father's side, has made him known’ (John 1:18). Jesus is the only authorized revelation of God in human form and he is the only authorized representative of humanity to God” (EBC).

VII.          “I am the true vine” (John 15.1, 5)

A.    “The stress of ‘true’ focuses attention on Jeremiah 2:21, in which passage the degeneracy of Israel was in view. Christ meant by this that he himself is the true Israel of God, the seed of Abraham through whom all the prophecies were to be fulfilled” (Coffman).

B.     “The Christian is totally dependent on Christ for his spiritual life and achievements” (LWC).

Conclusion:

(1)   Basically, there are 3 ways of looking at Jesus: 1) Liar; 2) Lunatic; or 3) Lord.

(2)   Obviously, the Bible teaches us that He is Lord; therefore, let us accept Him and follow Him.

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