I AM: Jesus in His Own Words

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Week 1 - The Way, The Truth, The Life

Key Verses:

“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father’?” (John 13:33 - 14:9)

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, `What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM Who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)

The Context and Five Reasons Why They Are Troubled:

  • Jesus has just washed their feet

  • Jesus has just told them; “One of you is going to betray me.”

  • Satan has just entered into Judas and Judas has left and gone out into the night

  • Jesus tells them that He is going away and that they cannot go with Him

  • Jesus tells Peter that Peter is going to deny Jesus before the night is over

Reasons to Not Be Troubled:

  • God the Father has a big house

  • Jesus is preparing a place for you

  • Jesus will come back and take you to be where He is

Jesus is:

  1. The Way –

    To life with God

    To love and that which is good

  2. The Truth –

    That is God’s Word

    That sets us free from sin

  3. The Life –

    That is abundant

    That is eternal

I Experience Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life By:

  • Acknowledging the Way to life and a loving relationship with God

  • Believing the Truth; that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, that Jesus died on a cross to take away the penalty for my sins so that I can be forgiven and restored in a relationship with God

  • Committing to the Life that is Jesus; becoming a follower of the teachings of Jesus and thus becoming like Jesus.


Week 2 - The Bread of Life

Experiencing the Transforming Power of the One Who Is the Bread of Life Involves:

  1. Doing the Work of God

    “Then they asked Jesus, `What must we do to do the works God requires?’  Jesus answered, `The work of God is this:  to believe in the One he has sent.(John 6:28-29)

    Jesus said; “`Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.’  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:14-16)

    “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing  you may have life in his name.”(John 20:30-31)

  2. Digesting the Word of God

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-4 & 14)

    Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

    “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”(James 1:22)

  3. Deciding to trust in the Will of God

    “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;” (1st Thessalonians 4:3)

    “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1st Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Key Verses:

“When they found Jesus on the other side of the lake, they asked him, `Rabbi, when did you get here?’ Jesus answered, `Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.’ Then they asked him, `What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, `The work of God is this: to believe in the One he has sent.’ So they asked him, `What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: God gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Jesus said to them, `Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ `Sir,’ they said, `always give us this bread.’ Then Jesus declared, `I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty, But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.’ At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, `I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, `Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, `I came down from heaven’? Stop grumbling among yourselves,’ Jesus answered… Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’” (John 6:25-43 & 47-51)

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, `What is his name?’ Then what I shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM Who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)


Week 3 - The Light of the World

Key Scriptures:

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”… When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” [John 7:37-38 & 8:12]

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, `What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM Who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.’” [Exodus 3:13-14]

By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” [Exodus 13:21-22]

Context Notes:

A Pillar of Fire was one of the manifestations of the presence of God. The pillar of fire provided light so the Israelites could travel by night during the Exodus from Egypt.

The Feast of the Tabernacles, also known as the Feast of Booths and Sukkot, is the seventh and last feast that the Lord commanded Israel to observe and one of the three feasts that Jews were to observe each year by going to “appear before the Lord your God in the place which God shall choose” (Deuteronomy 16:16). The feast begins five days after the Day of Atonement and at the time the fall harvest had just been completed. It was a time of joyous celebration as the Israelites celebrated God’s continued provision for them in the current harvest and remembered God’s provision and protection during the 40 years in the wilderness. (Leviticus 23:33-43)

5 Responsibilities of Parents:

  • Preparing your children for life

  • Playing with your children

  • Protecting your children from hurt and storms

  • Praying for your children

  • Pointing your children to God

Pointing Children/People to God Involves:

  1. Reflecting the light and love of Jesus into their life

    Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16]

  2. Realizing that you cannot do everything; you must set priorities

    And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me… Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but God rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you…” [Exodus 20:1-3, 8-12]

    Jesus taught, “So do not worry, saying `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” [Matthew 6:31-34]

  3. Recalculating when things don’t turn out the way you had planned

    Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith (and patience) produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” [James 1:2-5]

  4. Relying on the grace and strength of God

    Let us not become weary in going good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. [Galatians 6:9]


Week 4 - I AM: The Gate

Jesus Says to the Pharisees, and to Us:

  1. I am the gate for the Sheep

    “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” [John 10:1-5]

  2. I am the gate for the Shepherd

    Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.” [John 10:6-9]

  3. I want to give you the best possible life

    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” [John 10:10]

Key Scriptures:

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.  The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” [John 10:1-10]

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:1-14]

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. [John 10:28]

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. [John 20:30-31]


Week 5 - I AM: The Good Shepherd

Key Scriptures:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep.  So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  `I am the good shepherd; I know the sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.’” [John 10:10-16]

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, (the valley of the shadow of death), I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. [Psalm 23]

Experiencing Jesus as the Good Shepherd Involves:

  1. Listening for the Good Shepherd to speak

    “I am the good shepherd; I know the sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” [John 10:14-16]

    He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. [Psalm 23:2-3]

  2. Learning from the Good Shepherd’s discipline

    …your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” [Psalm 23:4c]

    My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. [Proverbs 3:11-12]

    Have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son?  It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when God rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone God accepts as his child.”  Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?... Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.  How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. [Hebrews 12:5-7, 9-11]

  3. Looking for the people the Good Shepherd is bringing into my life to help guide me

    …you are with me; [Psalm 23:4b]

    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. [Psalm 46:1]

    So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. [Ephesians 4:11-13]


WEEK 6 - I AM: The Resurrection & The Life

Key Verses:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.  Do you believe this?” [John 11:25-26]

Experiencing Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life Involves:

  1. Acknowledging that Jesus works in ways that we are not able to fully understand

    Now a man named Lazarus was sick.  He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)  So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” [John 11:1-7]

    After Jesus had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”  His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.  So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” [John 11:11-15]

  2. Believing in Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life

    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.  Do you believe this?” [John 11:25-26]

    “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. [John 3:14-18]

    Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony.  Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may have eternal life. [1st John 5:10-13]

  3. Celebrating new life in Christ

    Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.  Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” [John 11:43b-44]

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be a sin offering for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. [2nd Corinthians 5:17-21]

    By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through him. [1st John 4:9]


week 7 - I AM: The True Vine

Key Verses:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command: Love each other.” [John 15:1-17]

I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard:  My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines.  He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.  “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it?  When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled.  I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.” The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in.  And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress. [Isaiah 5:1-7]


Experiencing Jesus, the True Vine, Involves:

  1. Attaching or connecting to the Vine that is Jesus

    I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. [John 15:1-2]

    By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through him. [1st John 4:9]

    Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony.  Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. [1st John 5:10-13]

  2. Abiding or continuing in the teaching of Jesus

    Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” [John 15:4-7]

  3. Abounding in bearing fruit for the glory of God

    This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples…    You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” [John 15:8 & 18a]

    The acts of the flesh are obvious:  sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. [Galatians 5:19-25]