Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who is this Jesus?

Who is this Jesus? Jesus told us exactly who he is.

"I am the bread of life." (John 6:35)
"I have come down from heaven." (John 6:38) When Jesus said this, he had just finished feeding the five thousand. But the deeper truth he refers to is when God provided the Israelites with manna and quail in the desert, telling Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you." (Exodus 16:4) Meaning? "I am the only one who can provide for all your needs."

"I am the light of the world." (John 8:12)
Then he heals a man born blind. (John 9:1-13) The Pharisees he was speaking to must have been aware of God's statement to Moses: "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?" (Exodus 4:11) Meaning? "I am your creator."

"Before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58)
For the Jewish audience Jesus was speaking to, this was a clear reference go God's statement to Moses: "I AM WHO I AM." (Exodus 3:14) Meaning? "I am the eternal God."

"I am the gate." (John 10:9)
"Whoever enters through me will be saved. (Another way to translate it is, "will be kept safe.") He will come in and go out and find pasture." Jesus is using a shepherding analogy. In those days, the sheep pen had no gate--the shepherd himself was the gate. The fence surrounded the sheep, except for the opening, and this is where the shepherd slept. Anything that wanted in or out had to go through him first. It's very reminiscent of David's statement, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer." (2 Samuel 22:2) Meaning? "I am your protector."

"I am the good shepherd." (John 10:11, 14)
"The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." As the gate, the shepherd must face whatever predators attack, whether they be animals or thieves. Although the shepherd's life is more valuable than that of the flock, he will not allow the sheep to be harmed so long as it is within his power to stop it. In the Old Testament, God required a lamb without blemish to be sacrificed as a punishment for sin. That is why Jesus is called "The Lamb of God"--he accepted the punishments for our sins, once and for all, saving us from the eternal consequences of our own behavior. Meaning? "I am your savior."

"I am the resurrection and the life." (John 11:25)
And he's not just talking here; he then proceeds to raise Lazarus from the dead! The meaning here is both physical and spiritual. On the physical side, we look to Genesis 2. Adam was not a living being until God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." (verse 7) Spiritually, we can look to Romans 8:10: "But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness." Meaning? "I am the one who gives you life, and life to the fullest."

"I am the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:6)
"No one comes to the Father, except through me." In the Old Testament, the Priests served as mediators between the people and God. The Priests would present the sacrifices of people, obtaining God's mercy and grace. Jesus becomes our "great high priest," (Hebrews 4:14-16) mediating on our behalf before the Father. Meaning? "I am the way to God's grace."

"I am the true vine." (John 15:1, 5)
"If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing." The pattern of the Old Testament is as follows: The Israelites follow God, and he blesses them; they depart from God, and tragedy follows. Here, Jesus reminds us that without God, we are nothing and have nothing, but with him all things are possible. Meaning? "I am your strength."

1 comment:

  1. I wish more people could read this.. thanks!!!!!