Tag Archives: I Am

I Am/You Are

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. ESV

This parable from Matthew is from the same Lord who said “I am the light of the world.a” It’s a big deal!  Light and sight were God’s #1 priority at creation and now Jesus says “You are the light of the world.” Light is still His priority and “I Am/You Are” is His #1 way to share it with a world, a city and all in the house that are having trouble seeing…
Direction: Where the light is coming from
Intensity: the impact light has on what is seen
Contrast: what is hidden by darkness

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.  You are the light of the world… so that they may see your [light] good works and
give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  

a John 8:12

Sunday with John – The Control

John 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, I am he.”aJudas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” ESV
[a] Footnote: John 18:5 Greek I am; also verses 6, 8

What is the general theme of the passage?
Jesus is the only one who understands the Father is in complete control.  Everyone else is under the assumption they have some control over this situation. Judas has come to this familiar place prepared to betray Jesus.  The soldiers have come to this garden prepared to execute that betrayal once Jesus’s identity has been confirmed.  Peter has come prepared to fight to save Jesus.  Jesus “knowing all that would happen to him,” is the only one who’s come prepared with the truth of His identity.

“Jesus answered them with this curious phrase, two words in both English and in the original language (ego eimi). It is curious because Jesus didn’t say I am He, but simply I am – the He was added by the translators and is not in the original text. With this Jesus consciously proclaimed that He was God, connecting His words to the many previous I am statements recorded in the Gospel of John, especially in John 8:58 (but also John 6:48, 8:12, 9:5, 10:9, 10:11-14, 10:36, 11:25, 14:6).” Enduring Word

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus, identifies Himself as I am!  In those two simple words He acknowledges His compete identity with the Father who IS in control; “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

What does it say about people?
People make decisions within the context of control.  It’s a human part of the reasoning nature the Father has built into His people.  Step 1: accumulate and compile information, Step 2: make an informed decision and Step 3: take action.

Is there truth here for me?
It’s not those three steps that are the problem, it’s the sin of losing sight of who’s in control of our identity.  Sin has distorted reasoning.  Judas for some inexplicable reason had accumulated and compiled his information, knowing Jesus considered him a friend, but chose to believe some lie of reasoning that could justify betraying his friend.  The soldiers chose to rely on the informed decisions of their leaders reasoning, but were knocked to the ground by their own. Peter in this context of wanting to save Jesus had no time to reason but chose violence as his knee-jerk reaction. 

None of these responses are unfamiliar to me.  John has continued to remind me how important it is to remember Jesus is THE control over the context of my identity.  I have a reasoning nature that is improving because of Jesus in my life but it is still distorted.  I can make informed decisions until I’m blue in the face but I just can’t trust they’ll all be perfect.  The one assurance I have is that Jesus is THE control over every action I take.  Jesus has promised He will inspect, correct and redirect every clumsy step I take in my journey with Him toward eternity “to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 

Wednesday with John — Manifest Destiny

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.  18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.  ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
Obedience demonstrates love and Jesus knows we need help with that.  He has a plan…an invisible helper, a “Spirit of Truth” to show us how to practice what He preaches.  The world cannot recognize this Spirit of truth but “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him…and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  This Spirit will clearly demonstrate [manifest] everything true about who “I am” to each one individually.  “The word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me…I will not leave you as orphans.” 

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
The Father will give you another helper.  I am in my Father.  I will love and manifest [demonstrate] myself to those who love me.  I will not leave you as orphans, WE will come…

What does it say about people?
Not all people will see Jesus demonstrate Himself.

Is there truth here for me?
John has told us Jesus has come to nourish life, (John 6:35) give us light to see it unfold, (John 8:12) provide a door to enter into another life (John 10:9) and a guide (John 10:11,14) to demonstrate for us what will make it last (John 11:25) so we can be a complete family…forever. (John 14:6).  That’s what “the world cannot receive, because it neither sees [Jesus] nor knows Him” but thanks be to God for that “Spirit of Truth” and that Jesus has demonstrated our destiny. “You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”


Can You Believe?

Truth; John 15:3 You have already been cleansed [or pruned] by the word that I have spoken to you. [NRSV]


Inspiration: Remember the Apostle Peter?  Remember how he protested when Jesus wanted to wash his feet?  Jesus’s response to Peter sounds just like John 15:3 to me – ”you’ve already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you.  

Reality: OK, this is a test!  Get a pencil and paper and write down the first five true things you remember Jesus has spoken personally into your heart.  Write them in the order you remember them without any concern about a timeline.  It doesn’t have to be a complete list and they don’t have to be written as verbatim scripture but they do have to be real to you.  AND THIS IS KEY: don’t go back and edit them in any way as you read them again. [you know it’s me I’m talking to]. The important thing is they ARE written in the order you remember them. 

•Test IS the root word of test meaning “to bear witness.”  Do not confuse this root test with the same word which means examination. It is true that when you take an examination you are a witness for your own knowledge and, unless you cheat, you are showing what you do or don’t know. However, here the word means a solemn telling of the truth of what you know, bearing witness for truth’s sake.

You may have already had the experience of writing or giving your testimony.  You know how difficult it is to distill the most important things Jesus has done for you from the many really good things that have happened in your life without turning it into an “I was and now I am” testimony.   I believe the results of your test are listed in the priority of their impact on you specifically.   Can you believe the things you just wrote down are an accurate recounting of Jesus and the Holy Spirit verifying “you have already been cleansed”?   If you can, that belief can make your list the perfect outline that moves what you wrote from that examination kind of “test” to  the root of a new “testimony.”   A testimony that bears witness for truth’s sake to the I AM.  My wish would be that you would use your results and write your own new kind of testimony.

This is my own “unedited” list.  My new testimony is only to show you an example of how effectively it can work.
1.  I have been crucified with Christ.  I have scars but they’re part of the testimony of my healing.
2.  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
3.  Jesus will complete the work he’s begun in me
4.  The greatest of these is love
5.  Lord help my heart, soul, mind an strength

Nobody wants to admit their inability to deal with life or being wounded.  Even healing can leave scars.  I want my scars to be changed from something that needs to be hidden to evidence of blessing.  I want to be like Jesus.  I want Him to be the power that allows me to believe and live as if I have “already been cleansed. ”  I want to view those scars as the revelation of a changed heart not a sign of condemnation.  I want to believe my soul has caught a glimpse of promised immortality, my mind has been challenged by the Word of God and I really do have the strength to live by the words Jesus has spoken into my heart – I AM “the word that I have spoken to you.”

An Unbreakable Thread

Exodus 3:14 & 15b God said to Moses, “I am who I am…“This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.

”…every time you see “Lord” in the English Bible you should think: This is a proper name (like Peter or James or John) built out of the word for “I Am” and reminding us each time that God absolutely is.”  John Piper from “I Am who I Am

• John 6:35 “…I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
• John 8:12 “…I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
• John 10:9  “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”
• John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
• John 11:25 “…I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
• John 14:6 “…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
•John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

I don’t think I’ve ever consciously thought of God in terms of His proper name being “I Am.”  That idea has added another dimension to the already meaningful “I Am” statements of Jesus.  If you’ve ever had an English class you know the definition of a verb is a word of action that supports the main identity of the subject.  Our subject is God.  His name “I Am” is the verb.  “I Am” is the present-tense version of the verb “be/exist.”  God is!  The “I Am” statements of Jesus confirm the reality of his complete identity with I Am.

That’s a reality that’s still true for us today.  “I Am” is our confirmation that Jesus is still taking action to create an unbreakable thread that binds his followers between Himself and I Am.