To the Jews in Jesus’ day, these words were as earth shattering then as they are today! The temple worship process made it extremely difficult for the ordinary lay person to have a life changing encounter with the living God. Jesus, in making this statement, leveled every man-made barrier that has hindered people from coming to God and developing a relationship of trust with our Heavenly Father. It was invitation for all people to enter into th
When Jesus said “I AM the Bread of Life,” his teaching was so hard that many of his disciples turned away and stopped following him. What I think they missed was the spiritual meaning of what he was really saying. As we feast on Jesus, his life, his teaching, his way of being, and believing, we take him in spiritually, become one with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Jesus becomes part of us. These are words that are full of life, that if we co
One of the many I AM statements that Jesus makes about himself is “I AM the door to the Sheep Pen.” What a strange thing to say about oneself! Right? Well for Israel, this statement would have been packed full of meaning. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus stands at the gate of the sheep pen to call his sheep both into the pen for safety, rest, and renewal, and out of it in order to experience life and life to the full!
When Jesus made this claim about himself it would have come with a whole lot of understanding, expectation, and hope for God’s people. Israel was waiting for the Good Shepherd, the Messiah, to come and rescue them from Roman bondage and restore Israel’s prominence as God’s chosen people. Surely, they had seen a lot of bad shepherds over the years. But a Good Shepherd, one who knew their voice, who had walked in their shoes, who would protect t
These words of Jesus are packed full of imagery and meaning. Not only were they scandalous in his day, but they provide life to us today. But what does it mean that Jesus is the Light of the World and that whoever believes in him will never walk in darkness but will have the Light of Life? I think it means that the same Light that Jesus had is the same that is put in each of his followers upon faith. And we are to shine that light into our dark world for a
Everyone has a worldview. In other words, what sort of lens do we look at the world around us? This past summer, several of our youth attended a Christian Worldview Academy that helped them foster a Biblical Worldview. These students discussed how scripture addresses our contemporary cultural issues and were trained to engage the community in conversation regarding them. What they found was that even though people may not have agreed with their biblical approach,
When Jesus said “I am the vine and you are the branches,” a whole host of images and scriptures would have come to mind. Both the Psalmist David and many Prophets referred to Israel becoming a wild vine that had strayed off course from God’s intentions. When Jesus said I am the TRUE vine, he claimed to be the vine that would bring the wild vine back on course with God’s plans. As branches of that vine, we are to remain connected to Jesus and when
When Jesus makes the claim, “I AM,” he puts himself on equal footing with God the Father as Creator and Sustainer of all things. This is what got him into so much trouble with the religious leaders and teachers of the law in his day. It’s a statement of self proclamation that requires no justification from the rest of us. Jesus just was, is, and always will be. Him saying this also forces us to wrestle with who we say that Jesus is. Either his is or he isn&rsqu
At Jesus’ baptism, God the Father speaks very important words over Jesus. “This is my son, whom I love and with him I am well pleased.” Words that each of us long to hear from our own parents and our Heavenly Father. These words anchor our souls when tempted by the enemy, when the storms of life blow against us, and when our critics disagree with how we lead or how we live our lives.
What words do we hear today?
Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app developed in 2011 by a group of Stanford students. Users can post short videos, pictures, and messages to other users that last for a 24 hour period before they vanish. Kind of the like the Magi, or Wisemen, who came to Jerusalem seeking the one born King of the Jews. Kind Herod was disturbed. The Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law were clueless. And the Magi had childlike faith in their search a