Who do you say Jesus is? This is the most important question any person could answer. The answer someone gives to this question is a matter of spiritual life or death.
“Who Do You Say That I Am?”
“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.’”—Matthew 16:13-18 (emphasis added)
Jesus asked Peter the most important question. Peter’s answer proclaimed Jesus’ identity. The Father revealed this truth to Peter.
Many hear of Jesus, but the critical point is who they believe Him to be. Will they take what others say about Him…
- A prophet
- A teacher
- A good man
… or will they take His Word?
Who do you say Jesus is? Your answer to this question affects how you will be judged and how you live.
Key takeaway: The only way you can accurately answer this question is if the Holy Spirit is at work within you. It is the Father who reveals the answer through the work of the Holy Spirit of who you say Jesus is.
7 “I Am” Statements Reveal Who Jesus Is
- “I am the bread of life.”
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”—John 6:35
Jesus called Himself the “bread of life.” He is the bread from heaven that gives life to those who will receive Him. This statement symbolizes…
- Provision from the Father
- His incarnation and his descension from heaven to earth
- The source of life for Israel in the desert
In Exodus 16:4, the Lord told Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you…” This was a reference to the manna that the Lord would send daily. It was also a foreshadowing of Jesus so that Israel might know Him.
Jesus’ statement about being the “bread of life” communicated to His Jewish followers who He was and ultimately the fulfillment of God’s promise of provision to their ancestors who wandered in the desert.
- “I am the light of the world.”
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’”—John 8:12
Jesus made this declaration during the Feast of Tabernacles. To understand the significance of the statement, you must know about the lighting of the menorah. Each evening of the weeklong feast, a large lampstand, called a menorah, was lit. The evening festivities, such as dancing and singing, would begin after the lighting. The light symbolized the glory of the Lord.
Jesus proclaimed He was the light of the world on the last day of the feast. Verse 2 confirms the day hour as it references the morning. The candles weren’t yet lit. He said, “I am the light” when the menorah was “dark.” He wanted the crowd to know that even in darkness if they would follow Him, they would have light.
- “I am the door.”
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”—John 10:9
In this passage, Jesus used a common picture known at the time, shepherding. Pens were built on grazing grounds to corral the sheep for protection. These pens had only one entrance. If anyone entered other than through the door, they were thieves and robbers, entering the pen illegitimately.
The shepherd would stand at the door to ensure the sheep stayed in and the wolves stayed out. He would also allow the sheep to “go in and out” to find pasture when it was safe.
Jesus made this declaration, emphasized at a later point, that He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (see John 14:16).
- “I am the good shepherd.”
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”—John 10:11
Jesus continued with the picture of sheep farming. He extended the imagery to the shepherd. A shepherd had many responsibilities. The most critical responsibility was to protect the sheep from predators and robbers. He didn’t want to lose a single sheep, or he would be held responsible. This came with the risk of losing his life every day.
In John 6, Jesus says He won’t lose a single sheep given to Him by the Father. This makes Him the good shepherd, the perfect shepherd, who fully protects His sheep in every way possible.
- “I am the resurrection and the life.”
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”—John 11:25
Jesus made this statement after His friend Lazarus died. Jesus came to his tomb in Bethany, and Mary and Martha were mourning the death of their brother. Jesus told them their brother would “rise again.” They understood him to mean on the last day. But Jesus meant something different.
He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He wanted all those who were there and would witness the coming resurrection of Lazarus to know that He was the source of all life.
Jesus provides eternal and abundant life.
- “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”—John 14:6
In John 14, Jesus explained that He would be leaving soon to “go and prepare a place” for those who believe in Him. He would return and receive them. He said, “And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas asked Jesus, “How can we know the way?” Jesus responded, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” In other words, to find your way to the Father, you only need to look to Jesus.
Jesus is the way to the Father because He is the revealed truth of the Father and the life given by the Father.
- “I am the vine.”
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”—John 15:5
Again, Jesus used a word picture to describe His identity. Earlier, He used shepherding as a way to describe His attributes. This time it was grapevines.
He described the Father as a vinedresser and Himself as the true vine (John 15:1). The vinedresser manages the growth and fruit production of the vine. He also said we “are the branches.” The branches represent Christians.
As branches, we are to abide in Jesus. If someone is “in Christ,” they are born again. Paul reminds us in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation for those who are “in Christ.”
As branches, we are designed to bear much fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit. When we abide in Jesus and walk in the Spirit, we will produce much fruit. On the contrary, if we walk in the flesh, we do not produce fruit. This is why Jesus said we can do nothing apart from Him.
Jesus is the source of our ability to produce much fruit.
Knowing the 7 “I am” statements, who do you say Jesus is now?
Jesus reflects the Father. He said, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him” (John 14:7-9).
Are you a follower of Jesus? Do you want to know more about Him?
We would love to help you discover “the way, the truth, and the life.” Connect with us and discover more about who Jesus is.