The 7 "I Am Statements of Christ: The Bread of Life
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In February, I was asking the Lord to show me what He wanted us to do next for APM, when He quite literally put this series right in front of my face. I had never even heard of the seven “I Am” statements of Christ, so as you can imagine I was super excited to begin this study!
These seven statements of Jesus are only found in John’s Gospel. When Jesus said the words “I Am” preceding each of these statements, He was purposely connecting His identity to God. The phrase He used in the Greek was “Egō eimi,” which literally translated means “I am.” The word “eimi” in itself, even without the word “egō,” means “I am” or “I exist.” The word “egō” means “I,” but it was used as an emphatic expression about oneself. So when Jesus used both of these words together the Jewish people would have recognized that He was associating Himself with the word “Yahweh,” the Hebrew name for God which means “I Am.”
Let’s take a look at what happened when Jesus spoke these words to those who had come to arrest Him in the Garden of Gethsemane:
John 18:4-6 (ESV) 4Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”... 6When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Even though the “he” is added in most translations, this is the same phrase, “Egō eimi,” or “I Am.”
When Jesus says “I Am” and then follows with a description, you better believe I want to know and understand Who He says He is.
So, let’s get started!
Setting the Backdrop The first “I Am” statement of Christ is found in John 6. The story takes place the day after the Feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus walking on water (which we are familiar with because we’ve just studied this portion of Scripture!). The scene picks up the following morning:
John 6:22-29 (ESV) 22On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”
26Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you [listen up, this is a firm truth], you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
28Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
29Jesus answered them, “T