Resources

leather-books[1]

One of the main reasons I write this blog is to equip those who follow Christ to grow in their walk with Him. In the spirit of this, below are the resources I used in writing the I Am series of posts. My desire is for you (the reader) to check these out and maybe start your own research of the many gold nuggets of truth in the Gospel of John. Thank you for reading. God bless.

Boyd, Gregory A. and Paul R. Eddy. Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.

Burge, Gary M.. The NIV Application Commentary of John. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000.

Kostenberger J. Andreas. Encountering John. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1999.

Morris, Leon. Jesus is the Christ: Studies in the Theology of John. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989.

Townes, Elmer. The Gospel of John: Believe and Live. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002.

 

The “I Am” Series: The Conclusion

The eighth “I am” statement is a series of statements throughout the ConclusionGospel of John (4:26; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:13, 19; 3:14; 18:5-6, 8).[1] These “I am” statements are also of crucial importance, since “I am” is the Old Testament name of God (cf. Ex. 3:14-15; frequently in Is. 40-66: e.g., 41:4; 43:10-13, 25; 45:18; 51:12; 52:6).[2] The use of “I am” statements involves a divine self-reference on the part of Jesus.[3] By using “I am” Jesus is identifying Himself as Yahweh.

John recorded Jesus using an emphatic “I am” to bring out important teachings about His person; that He is God.[4] In this series is posts, we looked at the two groups of “I am” statements; one group Jesus adds a predicate to His “I am” (i.e. “I am the Good Shepherd”), while in the other group, the “I am” stands by itself.[5] The main purpose for the Gospel of John is to show Jesus to be God. John records eight signs that point to Jesus’ divine power. John gives us several witnesses: John the Baptist; the Samaritan woman; Moses; the Father; Jesus himself, including His works; the Holy Spirit; the disciples; and the Apostle John himself. John also gave the eight “I am” statements. All these support the notion that Jesus is in fact the Messiah and the Son of God.[6]

 

 

 

[1] Elmer Towns, The Gospel of John: Believe and Live. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), xiv.

[2] Andreas J. Kostenberger, Encountering John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1999), 261.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Leon Morris, Jesus is the Christ: Studies in the Theology of John. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989), 107.

[5] Ibid, 109.

[6] Andreas J. Kostenberger, Encountering John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1999), 32.

 

The “I Am” Series: I am the True Vine

sealwood-vineyard-grapes[1]The seventh “I am” statement recorded in John is in chapter 15. Chapter 15 is a continuation of the Farewell Discourse. In John 15:1, Jesus says, “I am the true vine” and in verse 5, “I am the vine and you are the branches.” The vine and the vineyard were old and sacred images in Judaism. The vine represented the covenant people of God, planted and tended by Him so that Israel would produce fruit (Ps. 80:8-18; Is. 5:1-7; Jer. 2:21).[1] In the Old Testament Israel is depicted as the vine but in John 15 Jesus is the vine; He is the replacement for Israel as He is portrayed as the replacement of the temple and the fulfillment of the Jewish feasts.[2] Jesus embodies and fulfills God’s true intentions for Israel; He is the paradigmatic vine, the channel through whom God’s blessings flow and who bears much fruit.[3] Jesus replaces Israel as the focus of God’s plan of salvation, with the implication that faith in Jesus Christ; a paradigm shift is taking place in which faith in Christ is superseding keeping the Law. Paul writes, Christ is the end of the law” in Romans 10: He is its fulfillment and its replacement.[4]

 

[1] Gary M. Burge, The NIV Application Commentary of John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000), 392.

[2] Andreas J. Kostenberger, Encountering John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1999), 159.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

The “I Am” Series: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life

Question

The sixth “I am” statement recorded in John is in chapter 14. Jesus and His disciples are in the upper room the night before the cross, and Jesus tells them in verse 6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” This is context of the Farewell Discourse that began in chapter 13.[1] This statement is an answer to the question asked by Thomas in verse 5 (“Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”).[2] When Jesus said that He is “the way” looks back to John 10:9 where He says “I am the door;” meaning that there is only a single way to the Father.[3] This shows us the significance of his dying for sinners; He brings us to the Father.[4] “I am the truth” shows more than a piece of teaching but reveal that Jesus is truth embodied.[5] In saying “I am the life,” Jesus is alone whose life is unique, self-existent life of the Father.[6] All truth is God’s truth, as all life is God’s life; but God’s truth and God’s life are incarnate in Jesus.[7]

 

[1] Gary M. Burge, The NIV Application Commentary of John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000), 389.

[2] Elmer Towns, The Gospel of John: Believe and Live. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), 141.

[3] Leon Morris, Jesus is the Christ: Studies in the Theology of John. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989), 118.

[4] Ibid, 119.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Gary M. Burge, The NIV Application Commentary of John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000), 392.

The “I Am” Series: I am the Resurrection and the Life

pen and paperThe fifth “I am” statement recorded in John is in chapter 11. After hearing about the death of Lazarus, Jesus and His disciples travel to Bethany. When He arrives, He meets Martha and in their conversation about the death of Lazarus, Jesus says in verse 25, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus doesn’t simply say that He will give resurrection and life, but that He is resurrection and life.[1] Jesus speaks these words in the context of raising Lazarus from the dead.[2] The “I am” statement in John 11 isn’t teaching about an idea but about a person; about Jesus’ identity and His relationship with His Father.[3] Jesus is shown to have power over death and life; Jesus exceeds our hope and brings a present reality to our victory over death.[4]

 

[1] Ibid.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Gary M. Burge, The NIV Application Commentary of John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000), 325.

[4] Ibis, 326.