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Seven times JESUS SAID, “I AM…”, Seven times Jesus used the phrase ‘I am’ while employing a metaphor to describe himself, and his role in salvation. These are known as Jesus’ “I am statements”, there are seven of them and they are only found in the Gospel of John, which is significant to their understanding.  I will explain why.


The verses which contained the seven ‘I am’ statements are as follows;


“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’” (John 6:35)

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12)

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

“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.” (John 15:5)


Each statement gives us a little more, or little different, understanding of who, or what, Jesus was.  All seven statements are found in the Gospel of John.  Why only the Gospel of John?  We get our first clue from the very beginning of John’s Gospel, Chapter 1.  So according to John, who is Jesus?  John 1:1 says that Jesus is the word of God, or the logos of God. Then we read in John 1:14a, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….” Jesus was the ‘walking and talking word of God’ (The word of our Father, Yahoveh God.).  All seven statements which Jesus made of himself could also be made of ‘the word of God’.  Since Jesus is the ‘word of God, these statements also identify Jesus’ character and his role in our salvation, as they define the role of God’s word in our lives and in our salvation. 


Jesus again identifies himself as the ‘word of God’ which when received, believed and obeyed produces our eternal life.   In John Chapter 5 we read Jesus speaking to the Pharisees, verse 38-40, “But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”  Here Jesus said that the Old Testament ‘testify of me’, but here Jesus doesn’t say what verse(s) in the Old Testament Jesus was referring to, which leave many to speculate.  But we find clues in Acts 3:22 and Acts 7:37.  Both of those verses make reference to Deuteronomy 18:17-19, and they say Deuteronomy 18:17-19 is referring to Jesus.  Deuteronomy 18:17-19 reads, “And Yahoveh said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will them accountable.”  Both Peter and Stephen, in the Book of Acts, identify Jesus as the anointed Prophet of God, or the Christ, in Deuteronomy 18 who speaks Yahoveh God’s words with His authority, and those who do not listen to him will be ‘accountable to Me’, says Yahoveh.


Jesus agrees he is the anointed prophet of God i.e., the Christ, speaking Yahoveh God’s words with Yahoveh God’s authority;

John 12:49-50, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

John 14:10, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.”

John 14:24, “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”

John 8:47, “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”


Jesus agreed that he only spoke the Father’s words and was therefore, as John said, the ‘Word made flesh’.  Jesus is the ‘Word of God’, because he was raised up to speaks God’s Words, keeps God’s Words, teaches God’s Words, and live God’s Words.  He is the human embodiment of God’s Word.  So when Jesus is referring to himself, he is not necessarily referring to his physical person, but rather to the Word of God and his life and character demonstrated that.  Jesus never said that he, his death or resurrection could save anyone.  He said his flesh counts for nothing, but the ‘Word’ (the spirit) counts for everything.  In John 6:62 he tells his disciples that he will not always be physical present with them, for he was going back to heaven. Then we read in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit (The Word) that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”  Jesus said the ‘spirit’ (his words, which are God’s words) which gives life, but for them his ‘flesh profits nothing’.  Jesus said, he personally, in his flesh, is not going to save them, their eternal life comes by keeping the words he spoke, which were God’s word. John 8:51, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”  What were his words?  And Jesus, speaking the Father’s words, told us to keep the Old Testament ‘Law and the Prophets’ (Matthew 5:17-10) which includes worshiping and serving Yahoveh alone (Matthew 4:10, Exodus 20:2-3). That, according to Jesus, is what we have to do to obtain eternal life.


When Jesus spoke the ‘I am’ statements he used the personal pronoun ‘I’ .  But he was not speaking of his himself, or physical person, as we used the word ‘I’.  Jesus was speaking about the ‘Word of God’ that he embodied.  In each of his ‘I am” statement we could substitute ‘I’ with the phrase ‘The Word of God’.  It should also be noted that when a prophet is the mouthpiece for Yahoveh, he speaks God’s words, as though his words are coming directly from God Himself, because they are.  So often, a prophet will speak using the first person personal pronoun ‘I’, speaking as though they are God themselves. When you read the Old Testament prophets, sometimes is confusing as to who is talking, God, or the Prophet.


Today Jesus is not physically here to be our ‘bread of life’, ‘light of the world’, ‘gate’, ‘resurrection an life’, ‘way, truth and life’,  ‘good shepherd’ or ‘vine’.  While Jesus is not here to perform these tasks, but he is here in spirit, and he said “his spirit is his words” (John 6:63).  The  Greek or Hebrew word for “Spirit” and that is the same word for ‘wind’ or ‘breath’.  When we speak out words they are carried by our breath (or ‘spirit’), so ‘breath’ or ‘spirit’ became a Biblical metaphor for the spoken ‘words’.  To say that Jesus is our ‘bread of life’, ‘light of the world’, ‘gate’, ‘resurrection and life’, ‘way, truth and life’, ‘good shepherd’ and ‘vine’ is to say that his spoken ‘word’,  the ‘word of God’, performs those roles in our lives.  And what were the words which Jesus spoke out that will do all of that for us? Jesus continually pointed back to the ‘law and the Prophets’ and told us to keep those words. More than 209 times he quoted for the Old Testament.  He didn’t abolish the Old Testament, the New Testament tells us to keep the ‘law and the Prophets’, every jot and tittle, even the least commandment, until heaven and earth pass away.  According to Jesus, that’s where we find our personal righteousness (Matthew 5:17-20) and eternal life (Matthew 19:16-19, John 8:51, Revelation 22:14) – and I believe Jesus.


And we must pay heed to all that Jesus told us, for Deuteronomy 18 said that Jesus would speak Yahoveh’s words with His authority.  So we have to look at what Jesus said, accept it, believe it, and act on it because it’s Yahoveh’s words which are our ‘bread of life’, ‘light of the world’, ‘gate’, ‘resurrection and life’, ‘way, truth and life’, ‘good shepherd’ and ‘vine’ – but that’s only true when we accept it, believe it, and act on it.   


Jesus pointed us back to the Old Testament Scriptures often and told us to obey what it says.  Jesus also draws on Old Testament metaphors used to describe God and His word, in giving the ‘I AM’ statements.  So we need to look through the Scriptures to see if we can find where the same type of language used to describe God’s word and how it works in our life.


1,  “‘I am the bread of life’” (John 6:35) God’s word is the substance that gives eternal life.

Psalm 119:50, “This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.”

John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

 John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”


2.  ‘I am the light of the world.’” (John 8:12)God’s word dispels darkness and lights our path.

Psalm 119:105, “[ נ NUN ] Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:130, “The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.”

Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

Proverbs 6:23, “For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life.”

Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

Isaiah 51:4, “Listen to Me, My people; And give ear to Me, O My nation: For law will proceed from Me, And I will make My justice rest As a light of the peoples.”


3. “I am the gate”. (John 10:9) God’s word is the gate to eternal life. In other words, we can only get into paradise through the keeping of His word.  That is our ‘gate’ to eternal life.

John 6:68, “But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Mark 10:17b-19a, “and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ….’ 


4.  “I am the good shepherd..” (John 10:11) God’s word is our good shepherd. It leads us into the path of righteousness, guides us to green pastures, protects us and nourishes us.

Psalm 23 says ‘Yahoveh is our Shepherd’ Yet, Yahoveh is in Heaven, how does He shepherd us?  Yahoveh does it by His word, or His spirit.  Jesus is the ‘Word of God’, Jesus is Yahoveh’s words in the flesh, speaking Yahoveh’s own words with Yahoveh’s authority.  Literally, Yahoveh’s words are our ‘Good Shepherd’.  All that the Shepherd in Psalm 23 does for His flock is provided by our abiding and keeping His Word, i.e., Jesus’ words (Deuteronomy 18:17-19)


5.  “I am the resurrection and the (eternal) life. (John 11:25-26) (i.e. eternal life)God’s word is the way to receive eternal life, and the resurrection goes with it.

John 8:51, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

John 6:54, “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:68, “But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”



6.  “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) (This is not talking about Jesus, but the word he spoke).

God’s word is the way to righteousness and the Kingdom.

Deuteronomy 10:12,  “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul”.

Psalm 119:1, “[ א ALEPH ] Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord!”


God’s word is the truth

Psalm 119:160, “The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”

 Proverbs 22:21, “That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?”


God’s word is will give eternal life to those who accept It and keep it.

Psalm 119:50, “This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.”

John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

 John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”


7. “I am the vine.” (John 15:5)God’s word produces the fruit of righteousness in us if we abide in the Word.

John 8:51, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

Matthew 13:23, “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

John 8:31, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

1 John 3:6, “No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.”

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit (the Word) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness,    faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

Isaiah 32:15, “Until the Spirit (the Word) is poured upon us from on high, And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.”


Jesus didn’t make himself, his life, his miracles, his death or his resurrection the focus of the New Testament, even though that’s what the church focuses on, Jesus wanted Yahoveh God and His Word to be our focus.   Jesus’ life, his miracles, his death and especially his resurrection are to testify that his message is true and approved by God.  Jesus gave us his message (God’s word), and his being raised from the death by Yahoveh God, is a testimony by Yahoveh God that Jesus words were true and that he was indeed God’s anointed prophet, the Christ, or Messiah.  


The church wrongly focuses on Jesus’ life, miracles, death and resurrection and neglects the words he spoke.  Jesus told us that we must obey and keep God’s Words, (the Law and the Prophets) but the church tells us we don’t need to keep God’s “Law and the Prophets”, just believe who Jesus is, his life, his miracles, his death, and resurrection, and we will be saved.   Jesus told us to worship and serve Yahoveh God alone (Matthew 4:10) but the church worships and serve the Trinity instead.


If obedience to God, or Jesus, is the greatest honor we can give either of them, and it is, then disobey is the greatest dishonor we can give either of them.

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