Almost everyone, when asked, has a comment, theory, opinion or belief about the person of Jesus. Even when Jesus was on earth with His disciples, people asked and commented about Him.
We read in Matthew 16:13-16, “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'” (Matthew 16:13-16).
Two thousand years later, some people know quite a bit about Jesus. Others think they know a lot about Jesus but, in reality, they know very little, if anything, about Him. Sadly, many people don’t have a clue about who Jesus really is. The evidence of this is all around us. Even among those who claim to be religious leaders and their organizations, there is a lot of confusion about the person of Jesus.
A brother commenting about Jesus in our culture wrote: “Jesus Christ has become hidden from sight in our culture. Even in front of churches you don’t see the gospel being proclaimed. Jesus is not being put in front of people on a daily basis. In some churches, Jesus has taken a back seat to events, socials, feel-good sermons and great music.”
Why? Why are so many people unsure of who Jesus really is? You might agree with me that the best person to answer the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” is Jesus Christ Himself. To the Jews who wanted to know who He was, Jesus used human terms and examples to reveal Himself. But His categorical and amazing statements about Himself infuriated the rulers and they tried to mob Him. (John 8:59).
Jesus described Himself in seven ways:
1. I AM the Bread of Life
(John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)
This was a very bold claim. Jesus actually said that He was the Son of God! He had just finished saying that: “The Bread of God is he who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:33
Jesus gives life, not only to the Jews (as Moses did in the desert) but to the whole world. Let’s take a moment to study the manna in the Old Testament as a type of picture of Jesus Christ:
* It came from heaven at night; Christ came from Heaven when the world was in darkness.
* It was not defiled (soiled) by the earth; Christ was sinless, untouched by sin.
* It was small, round, and white, somehow reminding us of Christ’s humility, eternity and purity.
* It was sweet to the taste; Christ is sweet to those who trust Him.
* It had to be taken and eaten; Christ must be received personally.
* It came as a free gift; Christ is the free gift of God to the world.
* There was enough for all; Christ is sufficient for all.
* If you did not pick it up, you walked on it; if you do not receive Christ, you reject Him and walk on Him.
* It was wilderness food; Christ is our food in this journey to heaven.
2. I AM the Light of the World
(John 8:12, 9:5)
When Jesus said: “I AM the light of the world,” He actually claimed to be God, for God is light. “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)
Darkness speaks of death, ignorance, and sin. Light speaks of life, knowledge and holiness. The light exposes sin (John 3:20). All those who reject Christ will remain in darkness (Matthew 25:30).
3. I AM the Door of the Sheep
(John 10:7, 9)
Christ is the door, the only door. This is the door that leads people out of their sinful lives and old worldly religious systems and into a new life. Jesus is the door of Salvation!
4. I AM the Good Shepherd
(John 10: 11, 14)
Jesus said, in John 10:11, “I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” Christ, as the Good Shepherd, gave His life on the cross. As the Great Shepherd, Jesus cares for the sheep. And as the Chief Shepherd, He will come again in Glory for His sheep, the believers.
5. I AM the Resurrection and Life
Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”
He is the only life giver. Jesus gives eternal life to those who believe in Him so that death will not triumph over them (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
6. I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life
Jesus once again answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Jesus is not one way among many, but the way. . .the only way. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
In the beginning, “Christianity” was sometimes called “The Way” (Acts 9:2, 19:9). The statement Jesus made means: “I AM the way to the Father. . .I AM the truth and the life.”
7. I AM the True Vine
John 15:1, 5
Jesus is the true life-giving vine. Apart from Him, we are as good as dead. A branch abides in a vine by drawing all its life and nourishment from the vine. So we abide in Christ by spending time in prayer, reading and obeying His Word, fellowshipping with His people, and being continually conscious of our union with Him.
The only way believers can bear fruit of Christ-like character is by remaining in Christ. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”(John 15:5-6)
These seven “I AM” statements speak of Christ’s deity for God’s Name is “I AM.” As we read the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us, we clearly see that Jesus Christ is the very Son of God who came to save the world, kosmon (in Greek), not the universe or the earth, but the human race. . .us.
The birth, life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ are the greatest events in the human history. The ultimate question is: Is Jesus your Lord and Saviour?
In closing let me share what Napoleon Bonaparte said about Christ. This is generally accepted as a genuine quote from Napoleon:
I know men, and I tell you, Jesus is not a man. He commands us to believe, and gives no other reason than his awful word: I AM GOD.
Philosophers try to solve the mysteries of the universe by their empty dissertations: fools: They are like the infant that cries to have the moon for a plaything.
Christ never hesitates. He speaks with authority. His religion is a mystery; but it subsists by its own force.
He seeks, and absolutely requires, the love of men, the most difficult thing in the world to obtain.
Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal conquered the world, but had no friends. I myself am perhaps the only person of my day who loves Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal.
Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and myself founded empires, but upon what? Force. Jesus founded his empire on love and, at this hour, millions would die for him. I myself have inspired multitudes with such affection that they would die for me. But my presence was necessary. Now that I am in St. Helena, where are my friends?
I am forgotten, soon to return to the earth, and become food for worms.
What an abyss between my misery and the eternal kingdom of Christ, who is proclaimed, loved, adored, and which is extending over all the earth.
Is this death? I tell you, the death of Christ is the death of a God. I tell you, JESUS CHRIST IS GOD.
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian