የዮሐንስ ወንጌል ትርጓሜ /7/ - Commentary on Gospel of John /7/

Main teachings of the Gospel of John

Part 2
2.  The seven “I am” Statements
One of the main teachings of this Gospel is the seven “I am” depictions. Our Lord himself used seven ways to describe Himself using this phrase “I am”.  Throughout the bible, ‘I am’ is used only by God as no creature can. The nature of a creature changes every second and it loses itself a second after saying ‘I am’. The evolving nature of a creation makes the now ‘I am’ invalid a second later. But the Lord can describe Himself saying ‘I am’ as his identity is eternally none evolving.  

The depiction “I Am” means “I Am Yahweh”. In Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you’”.  Yahweh that said ‘I AM’ came to the world in flesh. The reason why a well armed band of men who came to arrest the Lord went backward and fell on the ground is because He told them ‘I AM’ verifying to them that He whom they were looking for was in front of them. When the Lord said ‘I AM’ they heard ‘Yahweh’ and the Jews can’t hear and stand in front of the power this word possesses /John 18:6-7/ That is why the Jews call God with other names; Adonai and El Shaddai. Therefore, when the Lord said, ‘I AM’ to them, He is telling them that He is ‘Yahweh’ and they rattled.  

There are seven ‘I AM’ statements that the Lord used to reveal Himself.  In Hebrew, the number seven (7) is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). So, the seven ‘I AM’ statements are life’s complete list of essential needs and an answer to all our questions in life.

1.  I am The Bread Of Life
The Lord is life’s ultimate satisfaction. He is the foundation for a life that proclaims ‘I have enough’.  Life that dwells in the world never has enough; of anything, no matter how much already has. When we live in the Lord, however, we learn to say, ‘I have enough’ and satisfied with what we got. Why? One might ask; because He is the ultimate measure of ‘enough’.  Life in the world is like drinking salt water; the more you drink, the more you become thirsty.  One that has one desires for ten. One who has ten desires for forty.  But the Lord is the one and complete answer to all our desires. Thus he told the Jews, that He is ‘The bread of life’; to the same Jews who wanted to crown Him after feeding them miraculously to secure their physical wellbeing. He told the Jews who were still waiting on the ultimate Manna, the Messiah to come to the world that it is He that they are waiting for.  

2. I am The Light of The World
The Lord spoke these words to those accusers who brought a woman that they accused of adulatory.

Incriminating others is not of the kingdom of God but rather it’s of the world; police and law enforcement. The Lord was telling these accusers that He is the Light that reveals the dark act of deed they are committing while trying to reveal sins of the poor woman.  As He spoke of these words, the accusers left right away. When the Lord says, “I am the light of the world”, He is not talking about replacing the work of the sun or the moon. But rather He is the light of life and inner being.

When we stand in front of His light, we see just us; not sins of others. It is the light in Jesus that helps us complete/fix the incomplete/wrong of others, instead of accuse them or laugh at them.  These words resonate even more today as the world is engulfed with hatred and division.   The light in the holiness of Jesus makes us see ourselves; light of the sun helps us see others. When we look toward others, we gravitate towards judging others. But through the light of our Lord, we evaluate ourselves; focus on our shortcomings rather than others. When we live a life in the Lord, we will realize how feeble we are.  

3. I am the Gate  
A door has two uses; that opens for a known guest and closes to a thief. Our Lord Jesus Christ is a gate for the sheep. Sheep are meek and Christians are meek.  The problem nowadays is Christians are the opposite.  May be that they do not drink but it is for health sake. May be that they do not smoke cigarette but they do smoke people through gossip and accusations. They present themselves pure and holy through white cloth but without pure heart within.  The Lord is the gate for the sheep. The gate is narrow but once entered it’s a very big ultimate rest place. To reach to this gate is a daunting task. But once entered it is full of unexplained rest.  One unique characteristics of a sheep is that it gets lost without a shepherd. Other animals will use their high smell sense to get back to where they came from but a sheep gets lost without a shepherd’s help. It doesn’t return by itself.  

When Jesus talked about the parable in terms of sheep as Christians, He is talking about what a Christian should be; His follower and those who respect His Disciples whom were given to us as our shepherds. Those who do not learn from Jesus Christ and live a life without accountability to Him are not sheep.  

4. I am the Good Shepherd
A shepherd defends his sheep by putting his life on the line against a wolf.  Christ the shepherd did just that on the cross defending us from bondage of sin. He gave His life as a ransom for our sins. He is our life’s shepherd who shed His blood to free us from captivity of sin.

As there are good shepherds, there are bad shepherds; those who think about not what they can provide the sheep but themselves, those who run when a hunter comes close to sheep. But our Lord Jesus Christ is a good shepherd who put it all on the Cross so once again we could have a union with Kingdom of God.  

Praise and Glory to Him!