Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Investigating Jesus - Part 18
We are now in Episode 18. In our last episode, we looked at who Jesus taught, and we have also seen previously what it was that he taught. Today, we start to look in more detail what Jesus taught others about Himself, and who he really was.
13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”
14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.[d] Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” 1 Exodus 3:13-14 (New Living Translation)
Who has done such mighty deeds,
summoning each new generation from the beginning of time?
It is I, the LORD, the First and the Last.
I alone am he.” Isaiah 41:4 (New Living Translation)
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”
57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM![k]” 59 At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple. john 8:56-59 (New Living Translation)
In John’s Gospel, John records separate statements where Jesus said “I AM”. These written statements are completely unique to the historical account written by John and they are not recorded in the three other Gospels. With these statements, Jesus is reinforcing his claims to be God. How so? Because, when he says “I AM”. Jesus is deliberately referring into Jewish history, to the time when God revealed Himself as the ‘I AM’ to Moses in Exodus 3:14 and through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 41:4. That’s why in John 8:59, they picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy. This was in accordance, so they thought, with Deuteronomy 13, which dictates that anyone who tries to turn people away from the living God was to be stoned to death. They knew Jesus was claiming to be the very God they thought they worshipped.
"I AM the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; this bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:35, 48, and 51 (New International Version).
Three times here, Jesus refers to Himself as the living bread. By this he meant that he was the only one who could gratify the appetite and yearning of every person’s spirit. For those he was speaking to, bread was a basic staple food for living, just as it is for millions of people today. Jesus indicates when saying he is the bread of life, that he will supply all needs.
When Jesus referred to the manna in the desert (John 6:49) he talked of it being merely temporary, despite being a gift from God. He however, as the true bread of life, would give permanent satisfaction and life everlasting to all those who believe and follow Him (John 6:51). But this bread he offers, must be eaten and it must be taken up by the person wanting spiritual life. Note the inference to his impending sacrifice on the cross at the end of John 6:51. Jesus was fully focussed on His mission – the purpose of His being here.
We continue next week looking at who Jesus said that he was.
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