I AM HE
Throughout our study, we have looked at seven of Jesus’ “I AM” Statements in the Gospel of John:
I AM the Bread of Life – John 6
I AM the Light of the World – John 8/9
I AM the Good Shepherd – John 10
I AM the Resurrection and the Life – John 11
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life- John 14
I AM the Vine – John 15
I AM He – John 18
Even though John uses fewer direct quotes from the Old Testament than any of the other Gospel writers, we have seen that His writing is filled with Old Testament imagery and allusions which point to Jesus’ identity as the God of Israel made flesh. Those who heard Jesus’ words and saw His actions would have been so familiar with the ideas, stories, and themes from Old Testament poets and prophets that they could not have missed the claims He was making. Jesus took these words and images of the God of Israel and applied them to Himself. It would have been impossible for most Jews who heard Jesus’ claims to miss or dismiss them. Jesus was unmistakably claiming to be God made flesh.
As we have read John, we have witnessed varying reactions to Jesus’ claims from the characters around Him: from the Samaritan woman and the mourning sisters at Lazarus’ tomb, we have witnessed belief; from His 12 disciples, a mixture of belief and confusion; and from His enemies, an intense desire to silence Him at all costs. This final reaction gained momentum after Jesus raised Lazarus to life in John 11. The religious leaders put together a plan to arrest Jesus and put Him to death, fearing that Jesus’ growing fame would cause a revolution that would lead to Roman retaliation. The acting high priest at the time, Caiaphas, unknowingly spoke a prophecy about what would happen to Jesus:
“Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”
This week, we will close our study in John 18. The Passover meal is complete. The Upper Room Discourse has come to a close. Jesus has spoken His final words to His disciples and has brought them to the Garden of Gethsemane where His final “I AM” statement will be spoken.
What does the text say?
This stage of learning involves reading repetitively to gain familiarity with the text and looking for detail. We look for any words or phrases that are repeated. We may need to use a dictionary to look up definitions of words we may not fully understand. We look for key transition words (if/then, therefore, but) and see how they connect the text. We write out any questions that arise because it is okay to have questions as you study.
What does the text mean?
This stage of learning involves inferring things from the text beyond what it says. While it is easy to read a blog or listen to a sermon and get the answer, we want to use our own minds in this process. We do our best to answer, allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture. We look up cross-references to better answer the question, “what does this mean?”
How should this change me?
While we are now looking at how to apply the text to ourselves, this stage of learning is drawn from a God-centered perspective. We ask questions like- What does this teach me about God? Is there an example to follow? Is there a sin to avoid? Is there a promise to claim? While it is more natural for us to look at others and how the text would apply to them, we must apply the text to ourselves first and foremost. It is only after our own personal application that we are equipped to share how it works in the lives of others.
Study Guide Download Week 7 Last week we began looking at Jesus’ final words to His disciples in the Upper Room Discourse. In this section of John, Jesus gives His very last words to the disciples before going to the cross. He is preparing them for His death, but also...
Study Guide Download Week 6 Last week we studied Jesus’ claim, “I AM the resurrection and the life,” in John 11. John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and...
Study Guide Download Week 5 Last week we discovered in John 10 Jesus’ claim that He is the Good Shepherd. John 10:14-15 “14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the...
Study Guide Download Week 4 Last week we examined John 8 in which Jesus proclaimed that He was the light of the world. John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus made this proclamation...
Study Guide Download Week 3 Last week we examined John 6 in which Jesus proclaimed that He was the bread of life. John 6:35 “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:51 “I am the living bread...
Study Guide Download Week 2 Last week we were introduced to John’s Gospel and looked at an overview of Jesus’ “I AM” statements and their purpose. This week we’ll be looking at one particular “I AM” statement - Jesus’ claim that, “I AM the Bread of Life,” in John 6....
Study Guide Download Week 1 The “I AM” Statements in John are directly connected to his central purpose of establishing Jesus as the God who has come in the flesh to give us life. This gospel was written to establish Jesus’ credentials for the incredibly audacious...
Study Guide Download HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS STUDY Small Group Time Your small group is a place to share what you have been learning and to build community. Small groups are most effective when members follow some simple guidelines: Confidentiality – help...