In the gospel of John, there are recorded seven I AM statements of Jesus. These are the words that Jesus used to describe, and explain, the purpose of His earthly ministry. This is important for us because it is only when we understand fully who Jesus is that we can truly know who we are. Our identity is rooted in believing in Jesus, as the Messiah and the Son of God. It is only by believing in Him, that we are able to live in the fullness of the freedom that He has won for us…
I Am Statements in the Bible
The I AM sayings of Jesus were a bold declaration of who He was, His mission, and His purpose. In particular, the Pharisees, Priests, and Teachers of the Law would have clearly understood what Jesus was inferring. They knew the Scriptures and that ‘I AM’ was a divinely revealed name of God.
In Exodus chapter 3 a unique aspect of God’s character was revealed to Moses at his call and commission to lead Israel out of Egypt. Moses wanted to know more than historical stories of who God was to his ancestors. He wanted to know the character and nature of God in relation to himself. God answered Moses’ question with an intriguing self-description:
“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. God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”Exodus 3:14-15 NIV
As God revealed this aspect of His character to Moses, as self-existing and ever-present, there is a hint of God reaching out to His people. God was about to instigate a new depth to His relationship with Israel with the covenant at Mount Sinai.
Now, with full revelation, we can see clearly how profound it was that Jesus used the phrase, ‘I AM’ to describe His mission and purpose. Jesus was the instigator of a new covenant between God and all of mankind at Calvary.
I Am Statements in John
In John’s gospel, he refers to himself as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’. He had a personal relationship with the Lord and his gospel reveals this intimacy. John had grasped and understood fully how much Jesus loved him. He focuses more on Jesus’ identity, and the purpose of His ministry, than any of the other gospel writers. John wanted us to know, without any doubt, that Jesus was the Messiah, the incarnate Son of God, with the gift of eternal life for ALL who believe in Him.
“But all that is recorded here is so that you will fully believe that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you will experience eternal life by the power of his name!”John 20:31 TPT
The Seven I Am Statements of Jesus
What then are the seven I AM statements of Jesus? They are listed below with a free printable PDF, for you to download, at the bottom of the page. Each of the seven I AM statements of Jesus includes the full Scripture reference. There is also a brief explanation of who Jesus was talking to, which helps to put the phrase in context, and the meaning behind His words.
I AM the Bread of Life
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”John 6:35
The first I AM statement of Jesus is recorded after He had performed an amazing miracle. Jesus had fed over 5,000 people from five small barley loaves and two small fish. The next day the people went looking for Jesus again. But this time, in response to questions from the crowd, Jesus moved the conversation from their practical needs to spiritual necessities.
We all recognize that we need bread, a daily staple food, to sustain us physically. But Jesus was emphasizing that we also have spiritual needs, that can only be met by Him. What He provides will endure for eternity.
Jesus is the true bread of life, sent from heaven by God to offer Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. It is only when we accept what Jesus has done for us that we find true, and lasting, spiritual satisfaction.
I AM the Light of the World
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8:12
Jesus had been teaching in the Temple courts and His listeners included other teachers of the law and the Pharisees. This is the second of the I AM statements of Jesus and part of His response to their dispute over who He was.
Jesus was sent from God to light our way to true life. He is the hope of all mankind by bringing spiritual illumination and the gift of eternal life to all who believe in Him.
The full revelation of the mystery of Jesus as the ‘Light of the World’ was a cause of wonder, and joy, to the apostles and the early church. It was a dramatic shift in their way of thinking, and in their understanding. The God of Israel had sent His only Son to reconcile, those near and far to Himself.
I AM the Gate
“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 kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”John 10:9-10
Once again Jesus was debating with the Pharisees. They refused to see that the miracles of Jesus pointed to who He was, as the Messiah the Son of God. The Pharisees thought that adding rule upon rule to the law, and publicly observing them, was the way to ‘be saved’. But God’s intention was never to burden and weigh us down with rules and regulations as a means of access to Him.
The Pharisees as teachers of the law were meant to be good shepherds, opening the gate or the door for people to find their way to God. But instead, they were putting obstacles and barriers in the way, making it almost impossible for ordinary people.
This is the third of the I AM statements of Jesus and here He was exposing the false teaching of the Pharisees. But He was also introducing Himself as the Savior of the world – through whom we can find our way to God.
Related Post: I AM the Gate, What Did Jesus Mean?
I AM the Good Shepherd
“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.”John 10:10-11
In the I AM sayings of Jesus this fourth statement was a clear challenge to His opposition. Jesus stated that many of those who had come before Him, who should have been good spiritual shepherds, were in fact thieves and robbers.
He was not referring to the Old Testament God-appointed prophets but to the Pharisees and current Teachers of the law. They had become so full of self-interest that they had forgotten that their call was to shepherd and serve the people.
Jesus went on to clarify that the Good Shepherd is the one who provides and cares for all the needs of the sheep. The Good Shepherd serves the sheep and would be willing to sacrifice His life for them, so that they might know life in all its fullness.
I AM 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
The fifth of the I am statements of Jesus is part of a personal conversation with a woman. That in itself was against conventional behavior, but not as startling as what would happen next.
Lazarus, and his sisters, Martha, and Mary were good friends of Jesus. Lazarus had been ill and died, but it was four days later before Jesus arrived in his hometown. Martha, when she heard that Jesus was approaching went out to meet Him. She was confident that even now, after Lazarus’ burial, God would give Jesus whatever He asked of Him.
Martha responds to Jesus’ question, “Do you believe?” with a great declaration of faith. Yes, she believed that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. And that Jesus was the One promised in Scripture to whom Israel was looking for in the hope of deliverance.
Jesus was deeply moved with compassion by Martha and Mary’s grief. He went with them to the tomb of Lazarus, followed by a crowd of mourners. It was there that Jesus called Lazarus, a dead man, out of the tomb bringing him back to life and inspiring faith in many of the crowd.
The miracle pointed to who Jesus was – not only is He life but He brings life to all who believe in Him. Death will never triumph over those who place their faith in Jesus – even though they die, they will live forever!
I AM the Way, the Truth, the Life
“Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6
Jesus was talking to His disciples, near the end of His ministry, and trying to prepare them for what was to come. Jesus would soon leave them. But, He was going ahead to make the way for them to follow Him. Thomas, one of the disciples, spoke plainly and admitted that he didn’t understand what Jesus meant.
Jesus answers Thomas’ question with this statement which was a new and radical concept. At this stage, they did not understand what He meant. The disciples were rooted in the Mosaic law as being the way to righteousness, and the way to life. But, Jesus was declaring that He is ‘the Way’ eternally through His sacrificial death, and resurrection.
In the early church, Christianity was sometimes called ‘the Way’. This reflected the transformation from righteousness by the law, to righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus. This was a radical change, from the way of the law and works to the way of faith and grace.
Jesus, is the Way, and the only Way. He has made it possible for whoever believes in Him to come to God. Jesus is also the Truth, as the complete fulfilment of God’s word and all of His promises. And Jesus is Life, a twofold promise and His gift to us.
We are gifted abundant life now, with freedom from fear and the peace of God in our hearts. The gift of eternal life is a future promise and a present possession, because death no longer has any hold on us. We have already passed from death to life as we have become children of God, through Jesus Christ His Son.
I AM the True Vine
“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.”John 15:5
This is the seventh I AM statement of Jesus. It brings to perfect completion His description of His ministry and purpose. It is the most intimate statement – spoken to those who were His closest disciples. In the final moments of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He shares a parable to make a plea to stay connected to Him!
Jesus declared that He is the true vine. Israel should have been the true vine in God’s vineyard, true to the One who had planted, and nurtured them. But they had not remained faithful to God.
The message of the parable of the vine and the branches is a simple one – Jesus is our source of strength and without Him, we cannot do anything. When we stay connected to Him, spiritually we will flourish and thrive. This does not mean that we will never face problems or difficulties in life. But when we stay connected to Jesus, intimacy with Him provides all the strength that we need.
I AM Statements of Jesus PDF 320
The I AM statements of Jesus help us understand who He is, and all that He has done for us. They are His words to us – and are precious! He is the Bread of Life, the only One who can satisfy the hunger and thirst of our souls. There is nothing else in life that brings lasting satisfaction, only Jesus.
And it is only when we see that He is the Light of the world that we are able to find our way through the Gate to eternal life. Jesus is the way through, the Good Shepherd, bringing us to the Father.
The abundant Life that Jesus gives begins now and He is our hope of future resurrection. All of God’s promises throughout Scripture are fulfilled in Jesus. He is the Truth and embodiment of God’s Word. And Jesus’ final declaration was that we stay connected to Him. Let’s make that our prayer, to remain connected to Him so that we might be fruitful!
Download Free Printable I AM Statements of Jesus PDF HERE!