Sermon

We become what we behold. A truly beautiful vision should transform us, and the Gospel of John has such a vision. It paints for us a profound picture of Jesus Christ—His character, His motives, His interactions—as He echoes God in the Old Testament through seven “I Am” claims. In gazing upon these bold and glorious claims, may we see and savor the Living God. May we marvel at and be blown away by the beauty and majesty of Christ so that He might become the ultimate object of our desires and affections, leading to our transformation and sanctification.

Schedule | Playlists | Wallpapers | Further Reading

I Am

The Resurrection and the Life

Matt Chandler - 3/27/2016

“I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus claims to be the One who will raise all who believe in Him from physical death to everlasting life.

I Am

The True Vine

Matt Chandler - 3/19/2016

“I am the true vine.” Jesus claims to be the True Israel, the planting of the Lord. Jesus is the True Vine, and His people are the branches.

I Am

The Way, the Truth and the Life

Matt Chandler - 3/13/2016

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus claims to be the true revelation from the Father. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus, and He grants true life.

I Am

The Good Shepherd

Matt Chandler - 2/28/2016

“I am the good shepherd.” Jesus claims to be One with God, leading the lost sheep to the Father. He is the Shepherd of Israel.

I Am

The Door - Dallas Northway

Jonathan Woodlief - 2/21/2016

“I am the door.” Jesus claims to be the one and only opening to God. Through Jesus, the people of God will be brought into His Kingdom.

I Am

The Door - Plano

Hunter Hall - 2/21/2016

“I am the door.” Jesus claims to be the one and only opening to God. Through Jesus, the people of God will be brought into His Kingdom.

I Am

The Door - Fort Worth

Anthony Moore - 2/21/2016

“I am the door.” Jesus claims to be the one and only opening to God. Through Jesus, the people of God will be brought into His Kingdom.

I Am

The Door - Flower Mound

Rob Daniels - 2/21/2016

“I am the door.” Jesus claims to be the one and only opening to God. Through Jesus, the people of God will be brought into His Kingdom.

I Am

The Light of the World

Matt Chandler - 2/14/2016

“I am the light of the world.” Jesus claims to be Yahweh in the flesh, come to bring light and salvation to the world.

I Am

The Bread of Life - Plano

Hunter Hall - 2/7/2016

“I am the bread of life.” Jesus claims to be the ultimate satisfaction for all people, more than mere manna in the wilderness could have ever been.

I Am

The Bread of Life - Fort Worth

Anthony Moore - 2/7/2016

“I am the bread of life.” Jesus claims to be the ultimate satisfaction for all people, more than mere manna in the wilderness could have ever been.

I Am

The Bread of Life - Flower Mound

Jamin Roller - 2/7/2016

“I am the bread of life.” Jesus claims to be the ultimate satisfaction for all people, more than mere manna in the wilderness could have ever been.

I Am

I Am

Matt Chandler - 1/31/2016

The Gospel of John paints a profound picture of Jesus Christ—His character, His motives, His interactions—as He echoes the Old Testament declaration of God through His seven “I Am” claims.

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The Claims of Christ in the Old Testament

I Am

One day, Moses was herding sheep in the land of Midian, and one of his sheep went missing. As he went into the mountains looking for the sheep, he found a bush on fire that wouldn’t burn up. There in the fire, the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob met Moses. When Moses asked God to identify Himself, God said, “I am that I am...Tell them ‘I AM’ sent you.” This name—Yahweh in Hebrew—was the personal name by which God would be known among His people.

Over 1,400 years later, the Messiah arrived in Israel to a people who were looking for the great I AM to come and rescue them from captivity once again. It is in this context that Jesus speaks the words, “I AM.” These declarations of Jesus are the announcement that, in Him, Yahweh has come to dwell with—and deliver—His people.

The Bread of Life

In the days of Moses, Israel suffered slavery in Egypt. Remembering His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God sent Moses to rescue Israel from the hands of the pharaoh, the king of Egypt. They escaped Egypt through the Red Sea and went into the wilderness. While they traveled, the people began to grumble and wonder where they were going to get food and water. They began to doubt that God would provide for them and even demanded that Moses take them back to Egypt. But God, being rich in mercy, provided for them manna from heaven. In Hebrew, “manna” means, “What is it?” This was a bread-like substance they had never seen, but when they ate it, they were filled and nourished.

During this time in the wilderness, Yahweh was teaching His people a lesson. “He humbled you, and let you hunger, and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of Yahweh” (Deut. 8.3).

When Jesus says, “I am the bread of life,” He is claiming to be the final Word from the mouth of Yahweh, the ultimate satisfaction for all people (John 6:35). He is claiming to be more for His people than mere bread could ever be. And the same God who provided for the bodily hunger of His people in the wilderness has provided Jesus Christ to fulfill the hunger of their souls—for eternity.

The Light of the World

One of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament, Isaiah, prophesied extensively about the Messiah. This Messiah was to be a Savior for not just Israel, but the whole world. In Isaiah 9, Isaiah speaks of a child being born, one who will rule over the nations with righteousness and justice. He says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” His arrival will be the coming of the Light to the world. In chapter 49, when speaking of His servant to come, Yahweh says, “I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the Earth.” In chapter 60, Isaiah says Yahweh Himself “will be your everlasting light” in the day that He comes to renew all things.

With this hope in the hearts of the Israelites, Jesus proclaims that He is the Light of the world (John 8:12). He proclaims He is sent from the Father and that He comes to do the Father’s will. He declares that, as the Light of the world, He reveals all He has heard from the Father. Even more shockingly, He says, “Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins….Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:24, 8:58). Jesus is Yahweh in the flesh, come to bring light and salvation to the world.

The Door

When the Jews came to the temple to worship Yahweh, they had to enter through the gates of the city and the temple gate. These gates came to be known as doorways to salvation, doorways to the presence of God. When Jerusalem was destroyed and Israel was in exile, one of the most powerful desires of the people was for the gates to be opened once again. David alludes to this in Psalm 118:19-22. He proclaims, “Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.” In Ezekiel 34:13-16, Yahweh says He will bring His sheep—the people of Israel—back to their land from the nations. They will lie down and graze in their own land.

In John 10:9, Jesus says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” Jesus comes as the point of access to the presence of the Father. Through Jesus, the people of God will be brought into His Kingdom to find pasture.

The Good Shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” These words were as well-known to Jesus’ audience as they are to us today. The Bible teaches that Yahweh is a Shepherd and His people are His sheep. It was promised: “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (Isa. 40:11). God also promised through the prophet Ezekiel: “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep...I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed...And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.” (Ezek. 34:15-23)

Simultaneously, there were false shepherds and wolves in sheep’s clothing ruling Israel at the time of Jesus. The Pharisees, the chief priests and the Levites were “whitewashed tombs,” whom Jesus challenged in their hypocrisy (Matt. 23:27). Instead of leading the people in the right way, feeding them and protecting them, they lead deceptively and oppressively.

Lost like sheep without a shepherd, Israel finds Jesus offering Himself as the Good Shepherd. Jesus claims to be One with the Father and the great Shepherd whom they need. He is the seed of David, the King of Israel.

The Way, the Truth and the Life

When they were ready to enter the Promised Land, Moses told Israel that there were two ways set before them: the way of life and the way of death. He exhorted them to follow God and to trust Him at His word. This was the way of life (Deut. 30:15-20). When they arrived in the Promised Land, they followed foreign idols and many different ways of living. These things led to death and not God.

In Jesus’ day, there were still many competing ways to live life. From Greek philosophy to polytheism to Pharisaic legalism, people were being led astray. But Jesus tells His disciples that He is the true revelation from the Father and grants true life. Jesus is the only way to the Father, and no one comes to the Father but through Him.

The True Vine

The Old Testament describes Israel as the Lord’s vineyard, His own special planting. He was the Vinedresser who built walls around it and protected it from enemies (Isa. 5). He pruned it and watered it so that it might grow and bear fruit. But Israel showed disobedience and faithlessness time and time again. So, God tore down the walls that it might be destroyed.

Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). In recording these words from Jesus, John is showing us that He is the True Israel, the true planting of the Lord. And all who would belong to God must be part of the vine. Jesus is the True Vine, and we are the branches.

The Resurrection and the Life

Many examples in the Old Testament point to resurrection and new life. After Job has lost all that was dear to him, he cried out in hope: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:25-26). Job hoped beyond all hope that one day God would make things right. Hebrews 11:19 tells us that Abraham expected God to raise his son, Isaac, from the dead in the testing of his faith on the mountain. When it seemed like Israel was gone for good—exiled to Babylon, without a home and without a temple—God spoke of the promise of resurrection to His people (Ezek. 37:1-14). When the Lord gave Daniel a vision of the world’s end, Daniel said, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2).

The Fall tells us that, because of our sin, we will return to the dust of the earth. “For out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19). But in this seemingly impossible situation, Jesus provides the ultimate answer. Hope has begun to dawn; deliverance is coming. Jesus Himself is the Resurrection and the Life, and He will raise all who are in Him to everlasting, physical life.