People have always been set in their way of thinking and will often find it difficult to accept new ideas. The more radical the new is the more difficult it is to accept. Take transportation for and example: which is better the horse or the car, the train or a airplane? There are some that still do not accept new forms of transportation. The same principle can be applied to our spiritual lives. If we have been raised in a denomination it is difficult to leave and accept another denominations teaching. When the Word of God became a man it would have been very difficult to be a follower of Jesus.
The Jews had been taught from the beginning that God is a spirit. Jesus said in Mark 4 that God is a spirit and must be worshiped in spirit, and Deuteronomy 6:4 tells us that God is one. For some one to say they are god then they were to be stoned to death. Likewise to be accepted as a prophet from God they can not be wrong on any point, if they are wrong on any one point they are considered a false prophet and put to death. Jesus would have to find a way that the people would accept him as the Son of God or at the very least a prophet of God. How then can Jesus convince the people that he is the Word of God. He does this by three methods, miracles, signs, and teaching the word of God. For the next few weeks we will be looking at the “I Am” statements of Jesus.
“I Am” is the name God used for himself in Exodus 3:4. This name means that God will always be with the people of God. The Hebrew language does not have a future tense so this could be taken that God would be in the present at all times. With His presence He would provide the food they need, illuminate their path, protect them, lead them, give them life everlasting, teach them how to live, and live in them. The Jews believed that God would be with them in both the good times as well as the bad times, and that he would be active as well.
The gospel of John records the “I Am” sayings of Jesus. The Greek word John uses does not have a future tense meaning. Jesus tells his followers that he is with them and then tells them how he is active in their lives. The way that Jesus teaches that he is with his followers is a breakdown of the name I AM. He will teach them that he is their bread, light, good shepherd, resurrection, life, way, truth, life, true vine and the gate keeper.
Just as Jesus taught his followers who he was he also teaches us the same lessons through the Holy Spirit. The great news is that as we imitate Christ, he teaches others these same lessons through us. As we look back on our lives, it is exciting to see how Jesus has revealed these truths to us, and to others through us.
God bless you as you imitate Christ.