What’s in a Name?

Week 1 – God has a name

In John’s gospel, Jesus made seven declarations all beginning with the words “I am.” This is the same declaration that God made in the Old Testament as well.  Together, these statements offer a multi-faceted view of Jesus, and the ways he impacts everyday life; our struggles, fears, and questions, as well as our hopes and dreams.

Week 2 – Who is Jesus?

John’s gospel is written to answer one question: Who is Jesus? But he is not interested so much in the man, Jesus of Nazareth, like the other three gospels, as he is in the exalted Christ. The distinction is echoed by Peter in his Pentecost sermon, “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36) He is Lord. He is, as the demons say in Mark 1:24, “The Holy One of God.

Week 3 – I am the bread of life

Shortly after feeding five thousand people with one boy’s lunch, Jesus identifies himself as “the bread of life”. He says this in response to a request to repeat the miracle a second time. The point: Jesus offers a kind of nourishment that goes beyond physical, bodily needs… He is the object of our deep hunger and only after being reconciled through Him are we eternally satisfied.

Week 4 – I am the light of the world

In this text, Jesus identified himself as the Light of the World, just as John’s gospel does in the opening verses of chapter one. But in Matthew’s gospel, in what is called The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also called us “the light of the world”. We need to spend some time unpacking what this important metaphor means.

Week 5 – I am the door

When Jesus said, “I am the gate for the sheep”, he was calling out those who claimed to be “gatekeepers” for access to God. But he was also opening another insight into the unique role he was to play in God’s grand design.

Week 6 – I am the good shepherd

When Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd”, he is drawing on centuries of Jewish memory and scripture that depict God as a shepherd and his people as the sheep of his pasture. The imagery would have struck a deep chord with his hearers, and further confirmed Jesus’ claim that he is “The Great I Am”.

Week 7 – I am the resurrection and the life

Easter is not just a remembrance and celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. It’s also about our resurrection, which faith in Christ has already accomplished!

Week 8 – I am the way the truth and the life

This talk could be titled, “Stop Asking the Wrong Questions!” Through a series of wrong questions posed by Jesus’ disciples, he clarifies and crystalises the answer to who he is and why he has come.

Week 9 – I am the true vine

In this passage, Jesus expands on the idea of “abiding” in him. He introduced it in the previous chapter when he spoke of the Father’s house having many “rooms”, or “abiding places”. Now he revisits the concept with a new metaphor: the vine and the branches.