The Messiah

In my last Bible study, Who Do You Say That I Am, we explored who Christ is by examining his own statements about his identity.

I went to the well in the heat of the day to avoid my neighbors. Some of them look right through me as if I am not there. If they do look at me, they don't even try to hide their disgust.

A man was sitting next to the well. He asked me for a drink of water. A Jew! I couldn't believe he would speak to me. So I asked him how he could ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink. He said that if I knew him, I would have asked him for living water!

I asked him, "how are you going to reach this living water? This is a deep well and you don't have anything to draw water. Are you greater than our father Jacob?"

He said, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never get thirsty. Indeed, the water I give them will become a spring of water that wells up to eternal life.”

Wow, that would be amazing! I said, "Sir, give me this water so I don't have to keep coming to this well!"

He told me to go get my husband. "I don't have one, Sir" He said to me, "I know. The truth is, you have had five husbands and are not married to the man you're with."

There was no condemnation in his eyes. But he was a Jew and a Jew has never been a friend of mine.

I said, "It's obvious you're a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that we must worship in Jerusalem."

He said, "Believe me, a time is coming when you won't worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans don't know who you worship. We Jews do know. Salvation comes from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and is here already, when true worshipers will worship God in the Spirit and in truth. These are the kind of worshipers the Father wants. God is Spirit and his people must worship in the Spirit and in truth."

I didn't come to the well to argue with a stranger and I wasn't about to argue with a prophet. So I said, "I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." He said, "I, the one you're talking to, "I am he."

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was stunned. I ran into town and told the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?"

The prophet Isaiah foretold the birth of the Messiah more than 700 years before Jesus was born!

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

The woman at the well would have known about this prophesy.

Who do you say that I am?

Lord Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Annointed One. You are Almighty God, the Everlasting Father. You are my Wonderful Counselor and the Prince of Peace. You are Immanuel, God With Me.

Who do you say that I am?

My Bible study group just finished Becky Harling’s study Who Do You Say That I Am? Harling experienced a crisis of faith that led her to read the gospels with fresh eyes. She had been asking herself, where is Jesus? Why can’t I feel him? The study explores what she learned about who Jesus is based on what He said about himself. “Nothing describes Jesus’ identity as profoundly as His I Am statements.”

Harling noted that Jesus asked profound questions. He asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13). After the disciples responded, Jesus asked an important follow-up question: “But what about you? Who do you say I am?”

What is so significant about Jesus’ I AM statements? When Moses asked God, what should I say to the people when they ask your name, God replied, I am.

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Exodus 3:13-14

I remember feeling out of touch with Jesus many years ago and I also read the gospels with fresh eyes. I asked myself, why wasn’t Jesus more present in my thoughts? I wanted a deeper connection with Him.

Most of the I Am statements are recorded in the gospel of John.

I AM the Messiah. John 4:26
I AM the Bread of Life. John 6:35
I AM the Light of the world. John 8:12
I AM the Good Shepherd. John 10:11
I AM the resurrection and the life. John 11:25
I AM the way, the truth, and the life. John 14:6
I AM the true vine. John 15:1
I AM the first and the last. Revelation 1:17

One of my favorite I Am statements is “I am the good shepherd.” The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I know my sheep and my sheep know me. Jesus is my good shepherd. I lack nothing. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul! He guides me along the right paths. He is with me; his rod and his staff, they comfort me.

What about you? Who do you say that Jesus is?