Bible Reading: John 11:1-26
There are other ‘I AM’ Sayings that we will not cover during our series – Jesus also said ‘I AM the Door’ and ‘I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life…’ (Jn. 10:9 & Jn. 14:6). We have touched on many of the themes from these sayings, but we want to preach our topics with the calendar month so we’ve not explored these images as much as I would have liked. However, these draw us to a simple, yet fundamental conclusion about Jesus. Jesus Christ is the only way to Salvation!
Jesus’ ‘I AM’ Sayings are ultimately about that, it is Christ proclaiming with the holy I AM His Divinity, His right to bear our sins on the cross, His gift of Salvation! This is so true of John’s Gospel, so often Jesus is having what seems like a casual conversation with a person, and He’ll suddenly drop a pearl of wisdom… sometimes there is an immediate response, like the Blind Man who was healed (Jn. 9:35-39) who immediately worshipped Him.
At other times the effect is delayed – in John 3 Jesus speaks to Nicodemus but we do not hear about his faith until chapter 7.
And of course there are those who never respond, there are many examples in John and the other Gospels of those who listen to Jesus words but are unmoved.
The question we must ask ourselves is this, ‘which group am I in?’
Am I ready to respond straight away, ready to have my eyes opened and follow Jesus no matter where He leads me?
Am I waiting for something, am I looking at what God has in store for me but don’t want to compromise myself for fear of the world?
Am I standing in the presence of God and not listening?
These are not easy questions; each has an element of challenge. In the first case, the challenge is to be prepared that in responding God will take us to new and unexplored territory in our lives. This may be difficult but it is what Jesus means when He says that ‘He is the Resurrection’, that He will take us far from death and towards a new life!
In the second case, the challenge lies in letting go and stepping out… So often in our lives we are waiting for the perfect circumstances, or the perfect timing – or we want to be convinced of something, but what if what we are really waiting for is for us to let go of our worries and inhibitions and trust God that He will take care of us as we embrace what He has in store for us.
In the last case, the challenge is in openness – this a problem even for the keenest follower of Jesus. This is because we so often think we know what we have to do, or we know what we are doing, but we forget that the journey with Christ is a journey of exploration.
Jesus said ‘I am the Resurrection’ and this means that He is not going to allow us to remain in our state of death – rather His desire is that we step into new life, no matter what phase we are in!