I have been thinking a little about the Gospel of John lately. I am teaching the Jr. High at church this month and having been given full freedom to choose my own topic, I decided to talk about some of Jesus’ famous “I Am” statements. So, we’ll be studying gems like, I am the bread of life, I am the way, truth and life, and I am the good shepherd. Those statements taken by themselves are a little strange, and sometimes difficult to wrap your head around as an adult, so I cannot imagine what kids think when they hear those words in church or read them in their Bibles. That said, what I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around, as I prepare my lessons, is did Jesus know what he was saying when he used the phrase “I am”?
My best guess is, yes he knew. And, if that’s the case, it brings even greater meaning to those two simple words. “I AM” is the name used by God for himself when he called Moses to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. If Jesus is purposeful in his use of these words then he’s saying far more with the “I am” statements. He’s saying He is God. Would this have been evident to Jesus’ Jewish audience? Again, going with my best guess here, I would say yes. How mind blowing is that? How crazy is it that this guy went around using the name of God as his own as he taught?
It is easy to get lost in the simplicity of this but hear me out. Jesus is God, and God is Jesus and together as one they are the bread of life, the way, truth and life, and the good shepherd. Is that not amazing?