Spiritually Speaking: What’s the Most Important Question?
By Dr. Ron Woodworth
Who is Jesus Christ?
When the disciples were asked this question by Jesus they answered, “Some say you are John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets” (Matt. 16:14-15). Only Peter answered correctly when he said, “You are the Messiah (or Christ, lit. Anointed one)—the Son of the Living God (Matt. 16:16).
When Jesus was asked to reveal who he was he answered by claiming the very Name of God, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). Here are seven I AM statements of Jesus—mentioned sequentially in the Book of John. All of these names are different aspects of his nature and ministry toward all who believe in him:
- I am the Bread of Life (John 6:25)…bread is a metaphor for what sustains man’s natural life. Jesus is asserting He is the true source of spiritual nourishment that alone can create and sustain eternal life.
- I am the Light of the World (John 8:12)…light brings illumination (or spiritual understanding), which is necessary to see our way in a world of darkness.
- I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11)…a hireling runs away from wolves, but a good shepherd lovingly confronts evil—resulting in Jesus’ atoning death for sin.
- I am the Resurrection and the life (John 11:25)…he who believes in me, although he were to die—yet will he live; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. There are two births (natural and spiritual) and two deaths (physical and eternal). This is why the bumper sticker says: Born twice die once; born once, die twice.
- I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)…Jesus is the only path to ultimate purpose and fulfillment in life.
- I am the True Vine (John 15:1-8)…all who are connected to me are part of a new generation of the redeemed and thereby destined to bear fruit by helping to reproduce the life of Christ in others.
- I am the King of a Kingdom not of this World (John 18:37)…I am the ruler of a heavenly domain, which though spiritually present now, will ultimately be revealed by the return of Jesus Christ at the end of this age.
Ask someone today for their answer to the most important question in the world!
Dr. Ron Woodworth is an online faculty member at GCU. He teaches Christian worldview, university success, philosophy, communication and information literacy. He is a published author, organizational consultant and leadership coach. He is a retired senior and associate pastor, having served for more than 25 years.