Matt. 16:13-17


          “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”

          Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" He, of course, acknowledged that Peter's answer, "You are the Christ, Son of the living God," was correct. Jesus also revealed His identity in other ways. Sometimes He answered directly and plainly (See Jn. 4:25-26, Mk. 14:61-62, and Lk. 23:2-3, for example). In other cases, Jesus used parables and metaphor to declare His divine identity.  But perhaps most revealing are the metaphorical "I am" statements of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel according to John.

          In John 6:48 Jesus says: "I am the bread of life."  Bread is considered essential for human existence; it is the very substance which sustains human life. When Jesus used the words "bread" and "life" He wasn't speaking of ordinary bread or of ordinary life. He was speaking of that which provides eternal sustenance.  Jesus was saying, I am the Christ, the only provider and sustainer of life everlasting.

          In John 10:7 Jesus says: "I am the gate for the sheep." The sheepfold was a place of safety for the sheep. The shepherd who guarded its entrance assured that safety. In this manner, Jesus guards, protects, and provides for His people. The enemy of the sheep, who only comes to steal and kill and destroy, is utterly defeated by our Good Shepherd.

          In John 8:12 Jesus says: "I am the light of the world." Creation began with God speaking, "Light, be!" In light, therefore, we see the power of God. Light drives away all darkness and reveals the truth. So it is with Jesus. All the falseness of the world is exposed in the light of His presence. And in Him God's power and love and purpose are most clearly expressed.

          In John 10:14 Jesus says: "I am the good shepherd." A shepherd both knows his sheep and is known by them. So it is with Jesus. He seeks the lost, tends to the hurting, feeds the hungry and protects the weak. He calls them by name and leads them to a place of safety.  And they follow Him.

          In John 14:6 Jesus says: "I am the way and the truth and the life." He didn't say I am "a way." He said, "I am the way." He went on to say, "no one comes to the Father except through me." There is one way for our sins to be forgiven and a right relationship with God the Father to be established, and that is through faith in Jesus.

          In John 11:25 Jesus says: "I am the resurrection and the life." Even as death became part of human experience through the disobedience of Adam, the obedience of Jesus provides the means to overcome it. Jesus endured death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, but He is greater than death! He is the power of life!


Pastor Keith Andrews