The meanings of the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus Christ are a document of Jesus Christ’s strength, power, and dominance over the essentials of this world. Jesus Christ who is both the son of God and the saviour in the world in the Christian faith gave his assurance to believers. In the true meanings of the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus, the manifestation of his divinity (as in divine) is exhibited.
John the Apostle wrote an account of Jesus Christ for believers to accept that Jesus is truly Christ (John 20:31). Further, to understand the mission of Christ on earth, the seven sayings of I Am in the Bible are significant as it points out the strength of the cross where he had bled and died.
1. I Am the Bread of Life (John 6: 35; “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”.
When Jesus Christ said these words, he was in a conversation with the Jews who had heeded and followed him because they had seen him achieve miracles. At this point, they seek to know the mystery behind the Messiah who could do things no one could do. However, Jesus gave voice to solving not physical hunger but spiritual hunger. The hunger that only their salvation through his blood (bread) could satisfy. Jesus here offers himself as the bread of life, a bread that will satisfy them eternally.
Also, Jesus expresses the desire for giving people life, a life that only he could give and not the earthly food people eat. He expresses that being the Bread of Life, you need no other thing but him. With this, he seeks to strengthen people, to give the spiritual transformation and reformation their life lacks.
2. I Am the Light of the World (John 8:12; 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.”
In many other places in the Bible, Jesus compares his believers, his followers, to light. He says in Matthew, “ye are the light of the world, a city set on a hill”. In another verse in the Bible, he compares his followers to light which cannot be hidden under a bushel because it will shine out bright.
Jesus’s direct comparison to himself as the light of the world shows that he is the leader. It shows that he came to light and direct our path as God did to the Israelites in the days of the Old Testament with the Pillar of Fire. Jesus says that he is the light of the world and he has come to give hope to the hopeless, light to those in the darkness of sin and flesh; life to him that has no life. Jesus is the light brighter than the sun. he bears witness of himself as light does.
3. I Am the Door (John 10:9; “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”
In verse 8 of this chapter, Jesus emphasized why he is the Door. He says that whoever came before him is a thief who had come to steal the soul. In verse 9, he says he is both the door and the Shepherd of the sheep. With this verse, he shows that he is the way, the truth, and the life and whoever will come to him has to do so through the Door who he is too.
Jesus came to ease the burden of his people. A purpose which justifies a Shepherd who does not scatter his sheep nor devour them but gathers them, guides and feeds them on the right path. Through the saying “I Am the Door”, he means that he is the only key and way to the eternal home where everyone should rest. It is in him and this home that peace, freedom, and fullness abound and it is only through the Door can anyone enjoy this life.
4. I Am the Good Shepherd (John 10: 11; “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Jesus had once given a parable about a shepherd who has 100 sheep. After he had taken them out to feed, he realizes that one is missing. Instead of taking care of the other 99 in his garden, he went out to look for the one soul that is lost.
Jesus cares for his sons, he would not allow or permit one soul to be lost. Jesus came to bear the burden of his children, not to pile his burdens on them. With this, he came to feed, heal, and save the sheep, his flocks on earth.
5. I Am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25 to 26; “Jesus said unto 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.”
As Jesus Christ represents God on earth when he came, as God gave Adam and Eve life right from the beginning of time, so also can Jesus do. After all, Jesus gave life to Lazarus who was already dead and buried for 3 days. This statement is the manifestation of Jesus’s power and ability to conquer death, to give life, and to raise from death. Jesus can give life to him who needs it. This isn’t the sheer physical life that we claim to have, it is life eternal, a life that no death can take away.
6. I Am the Way, Truth and the Life (John 14:6; I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Just as Jesus had confessed that he is the Door and he is the Good Shepherd, so as he, the Light, confess that he is the way to God the Father who had all lived in his hands. Jesus proclaims and acknowledges that man finds the truth about himself but the only truth that is his the truth about him being the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the only Door to God.
7. I am the Vine (John 15:5; “I am the vine; ye are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, ye can do nothing.”
In one of the passages in the Bible, Jesus walked by a tree and realized that it has borne no fruit for seasons, he commanded that it should dry up. This shows how important being fruitful is. However, Jesus acknowledges that a believer cannot do it alone, this is why he offered himself as the vein and his believers as the branches without which one cannot bear fruits.
Jesus Christ gives lives because he wants his followers to flourish. He is the only light that can direct people’s path and it is why he gave this declaration. There are lofty manifestations of his powers and the Scriptures are only a little account of all he had ever done. His “I Am” statements are to assure believers of what he can do and what he will do.