The Seven I AMs

I hope to write two blogs today. The first will be nothing much more than observation. In the second, I want to comment on perhaps my favorite scripture passage… Observation first.

I’ve read through John 13 so far; I’m finding myself going more slowly than usual. Part of that is the responsibility of writing for you all. I want to listen carefully, to think about what I read, and to try to see something there that will bless you. Part of that is the speed of summer. LIfe just tends to get away from me. You too?

Did you know that John is the only book where you can find the seven, “I AMs?”

I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again.
I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling in the darkness.
I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
I am the resurection and the life. Those who believe in me even though they die like everyone else will live again.
The last two are still to come in our reading…
I am the way the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father, except through me.
I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so that they will produce even more.

If you’re someone who has yet to actually read the Scriptures — as I’ve noticed so many critical blog writers are — these are pretty powerful statements. There isn’t much wiggle room here.

Many observers put Jesus in the same box as Martin Luther King, Bobby Kenedy, and Moses. He was a good man. He left a legacy. He influenced the world.

But to paraphrase CS Lewis, Jesus has not given us the “good man” option. Perhaps he was crazy. Perhaps he was a liar. But no one who was a good man would make the outrageous statements we find in the book of John.

Either he was who he said he was, or he was a lunatic, or a liar. It’s up to each of us to gather the evidence and come up with a verdict. Good man won’t cut it.

As for me, I’m thinking of taking these seven I AM statements and meditating on them for a while. They are so powerful. And taken together, I think they show us a portrait fo Jesus that leaves much food for thought…

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