No other person in history has made bolder claims about himself than Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus’ claims about himself landed him on a one-way ticket to a cross, witnessed the killing of 10 of his original 12 followers, the persecution of his followers throughout the century, and the world’s largest religion.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus makes eight self-proclaimed monikers about himself. Scholars have labeled these the “I Am” statements of Jesus.
These statements give us a glimpse into who Jesus claimed to be and how his followers live in response to who he claimed to be.
Over seven weeks, we will examine these statements, discovering their deep theological meaning, and consider how they affect our lives.
Of the Gospels presented in the New Testament, Mark was written nearly 15-20 years before the Gospel of Matthew and Luke. In fact, Matthew and Luke both use Mark as a primary source for their Gospels. They also used other sources that biblical scholars have called the M and Q source material.
Okay, take all that you know about the shared source material between Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and just throw it out the window when it comes to the Gospel of John.
John stands alone as the most unique of the four Gospels. It is called “The Spiritual Gospel.” The opening lines give us a clue as to why it is called this: 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.
John portrays the story of Jesus in a cosmic drama of epic proportions, wrapped in a philosophical and poetic language.
Instead of parables from Jesus, we get long philosophical and theological monologues. Instead of following the chronology common among Matthew, Mark, and Luke, John just kind of has his own chronology for Jesus. John’s Gospel is a bit different in chronology. Much of this is the result of John’s overall message, which we will be tapping into over the next 7 weeks.
Mark presents Jesus as a servant Messiah. Matthew presents Jesus as a great Rabbi calling disciples. Luke presents Jesus as a rebel. So how does John present Jesus?
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