The apostle John emphasizes the Deity of Jesus in his gospel account. One way he does that is by demonstrating how often Jesus used the Divine name of I Am during his ministry. He is intentionally trying to make people think of when god spoke to Moses at the bush and used the same name for Himself. We examined quite a few of these in the last post here. If you wish to read that article, click here: https://myfathersworldsite.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/who-is-jesus-part-i/
“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am’” (John 8:58).
If the Pharisees were not already wound up by this temple discourse, Jesus finishes in grand style and for the second time within the same conversation they are ready to kill Him. What set them off badly is when He insisted that He is greater than Abraham, and the reason He is greater is because He is eternal. Jesus existed in Heaven, the above from whence He came down, long before Abraham was born. The reason this is so is because Jesus is God, the same I Am who spoke to Moses over 400 years before Abraham was called out from Ur.
“Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I Am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I Am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture’” (John 10:7-9).
The exclusive nature of Jesus is seen in almost all of these I Am passages. Here Jesus adds that He is the one and only access or point of entry into His flock as well as for His flock into Heaven. To be sure, the offer of Jesus and His atoning work is available for everybody. The gospel is for all. But not all will benefit from His sacrifice. Just the faithful few and the righteous remnant, a scarce number of the world’s population who will love God with all the heart and man as himself. The sheep only hear and follow Jesus. In a very real sense, Jesus is the door, but only for His sheep.
The Good Shepherd
“I Am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep …. I Am the good shepherd, and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (John 10:11,14).
As Jesus is the door of the sheep, He is also the Good Shepherd. As an elder in the church, Peter was a shepherd, as were all elders then and now (First Peter 5:1-2). But even Peter admits than only Jesus is the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls (First Peter 2:25). Jesus alone is the Good Shepherd. That is because there is none Who is good, but God (Matthew 19:17). Only Jesus is the Son of God, and only Jesus could, and in fact did, lay down His life for His sheep. Jesus laid down His life, it was not taken from Him. Proof that He chose to lay it down is that He had the power to take it back again, which He did in victory over sin and death.
The Son of God
“do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I Am the Son of God’?” (John 10:36).
The Pharisees often reacted against Jesus’s claims of Deity. And they would be right except for the fact that He was Divine. They were so gainsayingly reactionary against any possible blasphemy that they never really considered if Jesus might have been Who He said He was all along.
The Resurrection and the Life
“Jesus said to her, ‘I Am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.’” (John 11:25).
Jesus had close relationships outside of the twelve. Amongst these were the siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany. Jesus got work that Lazarus was terribly sick. Some of His disciples thought He go to Bethany and heal him, but others warned Him it was too close to Jerusalem where He was wanted by the Pharisees.
Lazarus dies, but Jesus says he is merely asleep and will go to Bethany to awake him. Once in Bethany, Jesus is mildly scolded by the sisters for waiting too long to come. They had faith in Christ and knew He could heal Lazarus. This is exactly why He didn’t go earlier and heal him. It would be akin to turning stone into bread. It would be a selfish use of the miracles, instead of a device to confirm the truth. All of the seven signs in the book of John do just that in they point to or identify the deity of Jesus Christ.
The sisters, the disciples, as well as the Pharisees in Jerusalem, and by extension, all of us who read of this account, need to know more than Jesus can heal, but that He can raise the dead. If He could raise the dead then, it follows that He can raise all of the dead one day (John 5:28-29). Jesus allowed Lazarus to endure the pain and agony of death, as well as allow the sisters to grieve and morn, so that God can be glorified in Lazarus’s resurrection (John 11:4). Before Jesus raises Lazarus, He tells Martha that He is the resurrection. This is more than saying that He can raise the dead, but that He alone is the source and capacitor of the resurrection and judgement of all mankind, and this is tied into His divine nature, seen in His use of I Am.
The Lord and Master
“You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I Am” (John 13:13).
This is one passage that cannot be divorced from its context to be fully understood. On its surface, Jesus is declaring that He is the Lord, and this is based on His eternal deity. This is not difficult to understand, yet a profound layer is added when the context is taken into account.
Jesus had just washed the feet of His disciples on the last Passover. Jesus is Lord to be served in obedience and submission, but He is also the suffering servant. It is not coincidental that He washes their feet on the same day He is to be taken away and crucified, which is the highest example of servitude (Philippians 2:5-8). The Lordship of Jesus is based on His divine nature. And being fully divine, He is as much the God of love as is the Father.
Our Lord is the God of love, and by its very nature, love involves service. It takes into account the well-being of other people, even making it a priority to our own safety, health, and happiness (Philippians 2:1-4). God takes into measure our greatest need, which is salvation from our sins, and His great divine love moves Him to act by the sending of Jesus to die for all. The very thing that allows both God the Father and the Son to act with such compassion is the very thing that makes worthy of our life in service. God is the Great I Am, loving servant of mankind and mighty Lord of all.
The Way, Truth, and Life
“Jesus said to him, ‘I Am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).
Of all the world religions, only Christianity deals with man’s real problem. Christianity points out that al are under sin, not by birth but by choice. It also shows the only way out of sin is by Jesus, and He exclusively is the remedy of our sin problem. Jesus is not just a way out of sin, He is the one and only way out of sin. The uniqueness of Christ and of Christianity is one of the many means of proving it to be legitimate and truly from God. This is only true because of the deity of Jesus Christ.
The True Vine
“I Am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1).
Jesus is the true vine, we are the branches, and the Father is the vinedresser who prunes us with His word. If we are apart from Christ and His word, we are apart from God altogether. Like a broken off branch, we cannot bear any fruit when separated from Jesus. His being the true vine is based on Jesus Himself being God, the same who spoke to Moses all those years ago.