Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:58)
In his answer to the Pharisees, if Jesus merely wanted to say he existed before Abraham’s time, he would have said, “Before Abraham, I was.” The Greek translation “was,” in the case of Abraham, and “am,” in the case of Jesus, are quite different. The words chosen by Jesus made it clear that Abraham was “brought into being,” but Jesus existed eternally.
Jews understood the difference. It was blaspheme! So, they took up stones to kill him for making himself equal with God.
This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath [healing the sick and infirmed at Bethesda], but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:18)
“It’s a foundational cornerstone of the Christian faith,” says Pastor Alistair Begg, of the Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio, “one that devoted men and women have clung to as the hope of their salvation for 2000 years: Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. (John 14:6)
Jesus was the first and the greatest of all Christmas presents. And he’s the gift that keeps on giving. Repeatedly in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us the good news. Use his gifts to ease your way through this Christmas season and beyond.
Jesus is the “bread of life”, our spiritual sustenance. (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:35-51)
Jesus lights a world full of spiritual darkness. The way to live in this world is to allow Jesus to be our light.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (John 9:5)
Jesus is the only door to salvation. (John 10:7, 9)
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. (John 10:7-9)
Jesus is the good shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep. (John 10:11, 14)
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. (John 10:11-14)
Jesus is our teacher, ready to instruct us on how to live like God wants us to live. (John 13:13)
13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. (John 13:13-15)
Jesus is the True Vine, sending us essential nutrients for a fruitful life. (John 15:1, 5)
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5)
Jesus is the only one who can give us new spiritual life. (John 11:25)
25 Jesus said to her [Martha, the sister of Lazarus], “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
Pastor Leslie Walker on his blog summarizes, “If we want spiritual food, who can give it to us? (Jesus) If we want light in the world of darkness, who will shine for us? (Jesus) If we want the door to salvation and the way to heaven, who provides that? (Jesus). If we want to bear spiritual fruit, who must we be connected to? (Jesus) If we want the benefits of the death of Christ, who must we know? (Jesus)
Jesus teaches us two things about himself in the Gospel of John. First that He is God and second that we need Him.