I Am

 

The Vine

Throughout the Old Testament, the ancient people of Israel were often referred to as a “vine” or a “vineyard.” The only problem was that Israel couldn’t live up to her calling to be a good-fruit producing vineyard. The good news is that Jesus is the True Vine and did what Israel should have done, but couldn’t. Jesus is the one who produces good fruit.

Continuing the metaphor, as the vine Jesus calls his followers the branches. And, of course, the goal of any plant is to grow and produce good fruit. The way that we as humans – as followers of Jesus – grow in bearing fruit, flourish, and become fully alive is by staying connected to Jesus (the vine) and allowing God – the gardener – to prune us.

The impactful, fruitful, lives of great character that we long for even in the midst of all our failures is available to us through Jesus – our vine – by staying intimately connected to him.

Scripture: John 15:1-8

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life

Many people have friends with different beliefs – which is wonderful. In a season of trying to be politically correct, Jesus tells his followers that he is “the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but by him.” Such a bold statement when we would prefer to be so accepting of others. This message unpacks the words of Jesus and reminds us of the invitation that He provides the only way, the only truth and the only life. The urgency to be people with a mission has never been clearer!

Scripture: John 14:1-6; John 13:33, 34, 35

I am… The Resurrection

In the middle of the story where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, he says “I am the resurrection and the life”. We take a look at our core belief in the resurrection on the last day, but also emphasized that the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us today. This means that God is currently working to resurrect the dead parts of our life, now.

Scripture: John 11:17-27

The Good Shepherd

Sheep have a unique ability to distinctly hear and recognize the voice of their own shepherd. Or, perhaps we should say, shepherds have the special ability to get the attention of their own sheep even amongst the competing, crowded noisy voices of other shepherds and flocks.

And even in today’s modern world, there are countless thieves, wolves and strangers crying out to you – vying for your attention and allegiance – trying to rob you of life itself. Forcing us to ask: what other ‘voices’ are you listening to?

We are best off trying to recognize, hear and obey the voice of Jesus – The Good Shepherd – finding abundant life in Him alone. Watch to hear what Jesus means when he tells the Pharisees: “I am the Gate,” and “I am the Good Shepherd.”

Scripture: John 10:1-15

I am the Light of the World

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” Over and over throughout Scripture we see that light is a metaphor for God and the good news that He brings. Hence, for many, it’s easy to believe that Jesus is the light of the world. But following him is a little more difficult. While we resonate with the first part of verse 12, we often forget the second part, namely that “Whoever follows me …” It’s the “following” element that we all need to work on, so that we “will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Scripture: John 8:12-20

I am the Bread of Life

This new sermon series takes us to the book of John in the New Testament. We will be looking at the metaphors that Jesus uses as he describes himself. In John 6 Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” In context, Jesus had just performed a miracle that fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish and then calmed the rough sea, and yet the people were more focused on what Jesus did versus believing that he himself was the goal of their faith. We often like Jesus for what he can give us versus loving him for who he is.

Bread is a universal food that most people thoroughly enjoy and is needed for life. Jesus symbolically gives us bread to point to the fact that ultimately he himself is the true bread for us. We often allow so many other things to take the place of Jesus. This passage reminds us that Jesus is our everything! He fills our holes, bridges the gaps and gives us hope for the future. It really is all about Jesus.

Scripture: John 6