Suppose you are the first missionary to bring the Gospel to a remote village. They may have a god of their own imagination, but they know nothing about our God. What would you tell them? How would you describe and define the God of the Bible?
This week we will look at the seven “I am” statements in the Gospel of John. In these seven statements, Jesus describes and defines Himself. He is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Door, the Shepherd, the Resurrection, the Way, Truth and Life, and He is the Vine.
When Jesus said, “I am...” every Hebrew boy and girl knew that the Teacher was taking them back 1500 years to Moses. Standing at the Burning Bush, Moses asked, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what should I tell them?” (Exodus 3:13, CSB). Maybe Moses was asking the question we posed in the first paragraph. “How do we describe and define God?”
God’s answer to Moses was memorized by every little Jewish kid at the synagogue school... Did they call it Saturday School? In the summer, did they go to Vacation Torah School... VTS?
“God replied to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.’ God also said to Moses, ‘Say this to the Israelites: The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever; this is how I am to be remembered in every generation’ ” (Exodus 3:14-15, CSB). When God said “I am,” He was really saying, “I always was, I am, and I will always be...”
So when Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35, CSB), the audience first heard Jesus declare Himself equal to God. Later, Jesus announced, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30, CSB). “I am... I am the God who spoke from the Burning Bush ... the God who led the Israelites to the Promised Land!”
Jesus said, “I always was, I am, and I will always be... the provider of bread! Indeed, I am the Bread.”
Read that statement in the context of John’s sixth chapter. Jesus made that statement immediately after feeding five thousand men and their families with a little boy’s Happy Meal. He blessed the bread and multiplied it to satisfy the hunger of a small city... Dumas, Borger or Pampa!
How do you describe and define God? He is the God who provides and satisfies!
When the Israelites took the forty-year tour of the Arabian dessert, God was their provider. Daily, God rained bread from heaven... manna.
“ ‘Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ Then they said, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ ‘I am the bread of life,’ Jesus told them. ‘No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again’ ” (John 6:32-35, CSB).
There is no other God who left Heaven to become our Eternal Provision! How do you describe and define Him? Maybe ... He is the Ever-Existing One ... the only One who saves and satisfies, yesterday, today and forever!