Jesus: ‘I am…’

How did Jesus describe himself?

  • How would you describe yourself?

    Perhaps you would talk about your hair colour or how tall you are. You might talk about the things you like to do – your hobbies. Maybe you would talk about your personality – what you are like to be around.

    In the Bible, Jesus used word pictures (or metaphors) to describe himself. Christians believe that Jesus was more than just a regular man – they believe he was God himself who came to live on earth. The pictures Jesus used help Christians understand not just what he was like, but what he came to earth to do.

    Look at some of the things Jesus said. What do you think he means? Why would this make him special to Christians?

    bread2

    “I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35)

     

    Bread is important to us. It is a staple food – something we eat most days. Going without food makes us unwell – or worse.

    When Jesus describes himself as the bread of life, what do you think he means?

    candle3

    “I am the Light of the World” (8:12)

     

    What is the difference between being in the dark and being in the light? How does it feel to be in bright sunshine, compared with night-time?

    When Jesus says he is the light of the world, what do you think he means?

  • gate

    “I am the Gate” (John 10:9)

     

    Imagine a sheep pen. There is a gate in the pen. When the gate is open, the sheep can go out into the pastures, to find lush grass to eat.

    When Jesus says that he is the gate, what do you think he means?

    sheep

    “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11)

     

    There were many sheep in the hills around where Jesus lived. The flock needed somebody to take care of them, to keep them safe from wolves and dangerous animals, and to rescue them when they got caught in thickets. This was the shepherd’s job.

    When Jesus says he is the good shepherd for his people, what do you think he means?

    laz

    “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25)

     

    ‘Resurrection’ is a special word. It means, being brought back to life. Jesus said these words as he spoke to the sister of a good friend, Lazarus, who had died. In the story, Jesus went to Lazarus’ tomb, called out to him and Lazarus came back to life.

    When Jesus says he is the Resurrection and the life, what do you think he means?

  • map

    “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (14:6)

     

    Think about going on a journey. What do you need to know to make sure you get there? Who do you trust to help you find the way, and why? Jesus’ disciples asked him, how will we know the way to God? Jesus answered that he was the way, the truth and the life.

    What do you think he means?

    grapes

    “I am the true Vine” (John 15:1)

     

    A vine is a plant which grows grapes. There were a lot where Jesus lived. The grapes would have been used for food and also made into wine. The vine carries all the good things which a plant needs from the soil so that grapes can grow on the branches. But if the branches are cut off from the vine, they can’t grow anything.

    When Jesus says that he is the vine, what do you think he means?

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