The moment you came to faith in Christ, you took the first step of a remarkable forever journey—one that starts on earth, reaches to heaven, and never ends. The Lord is glorious and completely mesmerizing. But there are many more reasons for us to follow Him everywhere, down each path where He leads. Who is He to you? Listen as Jesus Himself answers that question.
Various verses from the Gospel of John (see below)
John’s gospel contains a series of proclamations that Jesus makes about Himself, revealing to us His true nature and purpose. Some scholars refer to these as the seven “I AM” statements of Christ. Each one offers a fresh reason to cling to Jesus in need, obey Him in trials, thank Him daily, and worship Him always.
What are you hungry for?
- The Bread of Life. Read John 6:29-35. After using a few morsels of bread and fish to feed a crowd of “five thousand men ... besides women and children” (Matt. 14:21), Jesus tells the disciples that true bread is found by believing in Him (John 6:32, John 6:35). Just as physical food fuels your body each day, belief in Christ fuels your spirit. What are some practices, like a daily appointment to meditate on Scripture and pray, that would help you seek Jesus regularly for nourishment?
- The Light of the World. Read John 8:7-12. A woman caught in adultery is granted forgiveness by Jesus, while her accusers are reminded of their own sins. What might the Lord mean, then, by “walk in the darkness” (John 8:12)? What connection do you see between “light” and life?
- The Door for the Sheep. Read John 10:2-9. Jesus talks about His people’s ability to hear and follow His voice. How do His words in verse 5 give you joy and comfort? Jesus says He’s a door leading to pasture for His sheep (John 10:9). What “pasture” has following His voice led you to?
- The Good Shepherd. Read John 10:11-14. Our Lord explains His purpose to sacrifice Himself and care for His people. This is critical to remember when we can’t understand where He’s leading and we’d prefer to go elsewhere. Write out verse 14 and carry it with you as a reminder that Jesus knows you thoroughly and His intentions toward you are good.
CONTINUING THE STORY
The way to eternal life will at times include being shaped and clipped.
- The Resurrection and the Life. Read John 11:25-27. Just before raising Lazarus from the grave, Jesus proclaimed that our belief in Him will save us from death (v. 25). To receive salvation, we must all attest to our faith before God. (See Rom. 10:9.) What role do you think timing might have played in Jesus’ question to Martha (John 11:26)?
- The Way, the Truth, and the Life. Read John 14:2-6. To help Thomas grasp several important truths about Him, Jesus gives the disciple these three words. Has the Lord proven Himself to be the way, truth, and life for you? Briefly explain how.
- The True Vine. Read John 15:1-4. Once we’ve trusted in Christ, God works to eliminate behaviors or paths that aren’t pleasing to Him. Jesus says such pruning enables us to “bear more fruit” (John 15:2). What does this reveal about both God’s compassion and His vigilance?
Want joy? Follow Christ daily and deeply.
- It’s His promise: If you stay close to Jesus and keep His commandments, you will have fullness of joy (John 15:9-11). No better life is imaginable.
Consider how this study applies to your life.
More than 1,000 years before Jesus walked the earth, Moses stood at the burning bush and asked who was sending him to Egypt. God’s voice instructed him to tell others, “I AM has sent me” (Ex. 3:14). Since then, believers have puzzled over this enigmatic name of God. The seven “I AM” statements of Jesus in John’s gospel are part of the answer. With them, Jesus both confirmed that He is God and explained in relatable terms more about what God is like: life-giving, nourishing, righteous, forgiving, and protective. When Jesus joins us to the Father through faith and redemption, He makes it possible for us to experience these divine attributes instead of judgment, hardship, and death. This may seem like a basic element of Christian belief. But no matter how long or how briefly you’ve been walking with Christ, reflecting on how He has brought you into relationship with His Father is a joyful, growth-affirming practice.
- Jesus prayed, “I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). What light does this shed on His purpose in the “I AM” statements?
- Read Psalm 92:1-15 or another psalm. Which verse(s) relates to one of the “I AMs” and shows how Jesus connects you with the goodness of God the Father? Now try this with a story from the Gospels.
- Jesus helps you love, obey, and treasure God. Rejoice each day in the wonderful relationship made possible by faith in Him.