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?