January 10, 2022
Last week we talked about the first 4 “I am statements” from Jesus. These were
- I am the bread of life (John 6:35)
- I am the light of the world (John 8:12)
- I am the gate (John 10:11)
- I am the good shepherd (John 10:14)
Today we will discuss the last 3 “I am” statements from Jesus.
5. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6). This comes during a conversation that Jesus was having with his disciples in the upper room during Passover. It was during the final 48 hours of his life. They are all sitting around the table, and Jesus has washed their feet, told them he will be going away, and shared about the disciple’s betrayal. The disciples are understandably upset from the conversation.
John 14:1-7 says, ““Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
The disciples are upset and Jesus is trying to encourage them by saying “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” He then explains about where he is going. Thomas (and probably other disciples) does not understand. Thomas asks him “where are you going?” Then Jesus replied that he was the way, the truth and the life. What did Jesus mean?
A. “I am the way…”: Jesus was talking about how to get to God his Father in heaven. Jesus did not state that he knows of a way, but that He was “the way.” Jesus meant that the way to God in heaven is through a relationship with Him. John 3:16 states, “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” There are not many paths to the Father. There is only one, Jesus.
B. I am “the truth…”. Jesus does not tell us about truth, but says he is truth. The word used in the Greek means truthful and corresponding to reality. John 17:17 says, “…your word is truth.” This means that the word of God is truth. Also, remember John 1:1-2, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.” John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Thus, Jesus is the Word, He is God, and He is truth. Anytime we want to know truth, we can look to Jesus and to the Word of God.
C. I am “the life…”. When we have a relationship with Jesus, he is our way to heaven, he is truth, and he is life. The Greek word for life means physical, spiritual, and eternal. Yes, we will have eternal life. We will also have a new life on this earth with Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here.”
6. “I am the true vine…” (John 15:1). You must know a little Old Testament history in order to understand this statement. Israel was known as God’s vine that he planted. The problem was that Israel was unfaithful and unfruitful (Psalm 80). This is why Jesus said that he was the true vine. He was faithful and fruitful. The Jews of that day would understand his statement.
John 1-8 says, ““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[a] 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. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Jesus is the true vine and God the Father is the gardener. Christ followers are the branches. Fruit from the branches is the sign of a Christian. Galations 5:22 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” If a branch does not bear fruit (Christian not showing the fruits of the Spirit), God cuts it off. If a branch does bear fruit, God prunes the branch so that it will be even more fruitful. In order to be fruitful, we must remain in the vine (Christ). If we do not remain in Christ and His words, we are like a branch that is thrown away and withers.
7. “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25). Jesus had heard that Lazarus was sick, but did not come right away. John 11:18-27 says, “On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “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?” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Jesus is saying that he is the resurrection and the life. If we believe in him we will have eternal life.
We have reviewed the 7 “I am” statements that Jesus said about himself. He wanted us to know him better and gave us great descriptions. He is our spiritual nourishment, our light, the gate to heaven, our caretaker, the path to heaven, truth, and eternal life itself. He is our true vine and the resurrection.
Do you know Jesus? Do you have a relationship with Him? Do you believe? John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Next week we will read John 17-21.