The gospel of John is a very unique book of the Bible. It’s an eyewitness account of Jesus’s ministry from a friend so close to his inner circle. Jesus feels more flesh and blood and bone in John’s gospel. He’s right before my eyes, so close I feel I could reach out and touch him. John saw things from the Savior that others did not, he rested his head on his side (John 13:23) and he graciously detailed each moment for us. The gospels each give and take from each other, but John is the one that my heart returns to the most.
Now we’ve worked through sections of the gospel of John, focusing on the ‘I am’ statements that Jesus makes, each referencing in their own way back to God naming himself before Moses in Exodus 3. Each of Jesus’s metaphors constructs a beautiful narrative; a combination of him boldly and freely proclaiming who he is and where he comes from, as well as him declaring his love for us. These ‘I am’ statements can easily be used as pillars to uphold the overall gospel. They stand as rigid statements, definitions and attributes of God straight from the mouth of His Son.
If we look at the ‘I am’ statements like pillars, or even stops on an overall road-map of the gospel of John, collectively, what are they telling us? Consider the ‘I am’ statements as a thread that ties the whole book together– through each metaphor, what is John desiring us to know about the Lord? I would encourage everyone to read John beginning to end, if not for the first time at least for a second or even third. He takes the original biblical narrative that we’re used to, that opening as familiar as once upon a time: “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1). John takes our hand and helps us walk alongside the life of Jesus from beginning, the real beginning, to the end of his time on earth.
And I think at the end of the day it might be as simple as that, if one could really call such a thing simple. John wants us to be able to walk alongside the Lord. To bear witness to what he has done, to see his miracles, to see his compassion, to see the strength and dignity so finely balanced in the character of Christ. To be completely honest, another reason why I like John’s writing is because he does tell us why he’s writing. To answer my own question, what does John want us to know about the Lord, well, it’s this: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).
The challenge here isn’t just knowing the intention of the book, it’s making sure we believe it with our whole heart. To do this, sometimes we need to walk with our Savior again. We need to rest our head on his side, trust him completely. We should fall in love with the gospel each and every day, remain fascinated– and the only way to do that is by getting to know Him. I hope this series was able to do some of that for you.
The ‘I am’ series includes:
- I am
- I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14)
- I am the resurrection and the life (John 11)
- I am the light of the world (John 8)
- I am the true vine (John 15)
- I am the good shepherd (John 10: 10-19)
- I am the door (John 10)
- I am the bread of life (John 6)
You can listen to it here or on our sermon archive.