Who is Jesus? A great man? Absolutely! His compassion and love for those with whom He came in contact show that, not only was He a great man, but He was also the most compassionate and caring person known to man. A teacher? Most definitely! In fact, He was probably the greatest teacher that ever walked the face of this earth. The Son of God? Yes. He was sent by God, fulfilled all of the prophecies concerning the promised Messiah, and God Himself testified to who Jesus was when He said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11) But who and what else is Jesus?
Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus used the phrase “I am” to describe Himself in seven different ways. He is the “bread of life,” the “light of the world,” the “door,” the “good shepherd,” the resurrection and the life,” the “way, and the truth, and the life,” and the “true vine.” In some cases, Jesus also connected who He said He is with some of the signs He performed.
“I am the bread of life.” In John 6, shortly after He fed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus said that He is the bread of life. In the Old Testament, God fed the Israelites by sending manna from heaven. But that was bread that provided sustenance for the day. A person could eat his fill and require more the next day. And, despite eating that bread, eventually a person would die. That bread provided sustenance, but when God sent Jesus into the world, He was sending bread that could provide eternal life. When we come to Jesus, when we believe in Him and follow Him as Lord and Savior, we will never go hungry and will have eternal life. (John 6:35-40).
“I am the light of the world.” Jesus is the Word of God and all things were created through Him. In Jesus, there was life and this life was the light of men which shines in the darkness (John 1:1-5). Because of sin, we all walk in spiritual darkness. In John 8:12, Jesus said that He is the light of the world. When we make the decision to follow Him, we no longer walk in darkness, but instead we walk in the light of life that comes from Jesus. He lights our paths and directs our steps with His glorious light (Psalm 119:105). Shortly after Jesus said that He is the light of the world, He came upon a man who was blind from birth, a man who had walked in physical darkness all his life. Jesus said that as long as He is in the world, He is the light of the world. He then proceeded to give the blind man sight, freeing him from his physical darkness, just as He frees us from our spiritual darkness (John 9:1-7).
“I am the resurrection and the life.” In John 11:25-26, Jesus said that He is the resurrection and the life. He promised that, if we believe in Him, we may die a physical death, but we will still live eternally in Him. Our bodies may fail, but our souls will never die, and one day, we will have a new, glorified body that will live forever. Jesus said that He is the resurrection and the life at the time that He was at the home of Martha and Mary, whose brother, Lazarus, had died four days earlier. Jesus wept for the loss of Lazarus, and for the grief of Martha and Mary, then performed one of His greatest miracles as He raised Lazarus back to life. Not only in words, but also in actions, Jesus proved that He is indeed the resurrection and the life.