The Bookends of Faith (Part 1)

November 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Exodus, The Bookends of Faith | 18 Comments
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The Bookends of Faith in the Deity of Jesus Christ: The first and last of the seven “I AM” statements in the Book of John

Here are the seven “I AM” statements in the Book of John:

1. I AM the Bread of Life (6:35)

2. I AM the Light of the World (8:12)

3. I AM the Door (10:9)

4. I AM the Good Shepherd (10:11)

5. I AM the Resurrection, and the Life (11:25)

6. I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life (14:6)

7. I AM the True Vine (15:1)

I AM the Bread of Life and I AM the True Vine: these two principles are the “bookends of faith” in the deity of Christ.

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 6:38

The Bread of Life came down from Heaven. Only God could come down from Heaven.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

John 15:4

The True Vine provides life to the branches, and, because the branches are “in” the Vine, they are secure. Only God can give and preserve life.

The two words that John 6:35 and 15:1 have in common are “I AM.”

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Exodus 3:13-14

God told Moses, “I AM THAT I AM.” God is unexplainable. God is unending (eternal and infinite – unending and unbeginning). God is uncommon (truly unique). In John Chapter 6 Jesus had performed a miracle. He had made five loaves into enough bread to feed a whole multitude. Many were grateful for this miracle, but few were grateful because of what it taught or what it pronounced: It pronounced that Jesus was God.

Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

John 6:26

Most were grateful because of what it provided.

The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

John 6:41-42

Jewish rabbis taught that the Messiah would duplicate the miracle of the manna, but Jesus didn’t call down bread from Heaven – He was the Bread from Heaven. The manna was a type and Christ was the reality, but like every “type” that Christ fulfilled, He not only fulfilled it, He also turned out to be a “better-than” the type.

Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

John 6:49

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

John 6:51

How Jesus was like the manna:

1. The manna was a mystery. It’s name meant “what is it.”

And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

Exodus 16:15

Jesus seemed mysterious to those who saw Him.

But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

John 6:36

2. The manna came when it was dark.

And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.

Exodus 16:21

Jesus came into a (spiritually) dark world.

3. The manna was small and round.

And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.

Exodus 16:14

Jesus was not physically significant or socially “important.” Like a round object, which has no beginning and no end, Jesus, being God, is eternal.

4. The manna was white and sweet.

And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

Exodus 16:31

White represents purity and sinlessness – Jesus was pure inside and out. Although the manna was sweet, Jesus is even sweeter.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalm 34:8

5. Manna was given to a rebellious people.

And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

Exodus 16:3

Jesus came to seek and save rebellious sinners.

The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

John 6:41

6. The manna had to be either picked up (received) or trampled.

Jesus must be received or rejected (despised.) Make no mistake, when you reject Christ, you are doing far worse than stepping on Him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:3

Jesus was treated as utterly vile and was completely forsaken by men. He experienced the kinds of feelings associated with rejection that make you physically sick.

7. Manna sustained life. Jesus gave life – eternal life.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:35

Next time, we will ask, “Are you more grateful for what the I AM proves or for what it provides?”

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18 Comments »

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  1. great one

  2. […] Last time, we looked at the seven “I AM” statements of Jesus in the Book of John, we saw the comparisons, between the manna which came down from Heaven in the Old Testament and Jesus, the Bread of Life which came down from Heaven in the New Testament. […]

  3. […] provided bread to the nations; Jesus Christ provided the Bread of Life. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the […]

  4. […] deliberate use of “I AM,” God’s Self-revealed Old Testament Name, showed that He was in fact God incarnate, […]

  5. […] Lord, the Almighty Son of the Living God, the Prince of Glory, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find […]

  6. […] maybe to the point where you feel useless before God, take heart! The body of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, was broken for you on Calvary’s Cross, so that you might draw strength from Him. The Apostle […]

  7. […] loatheth this light Kool-Aid.” But the fact is, for God’s people in the wilderness, the manna was exactly what they needed – especially for traveling. They were remembering the heavy, spicy […]

  8. […] is: none. Only to Jesus Christ has God said this, because Jesus Christ is not a created being. He is God the Son, and though He was made like unto us, so that He might be a greater High Priest in His […]

  9. […] Jesus left Heaven and came to seek and to save the lost (you and me) in response to our greatest need – […]

  10. […] promised land, so they wound up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. God was feeding them with manna, which was “heavenly bread” that fell from the […]

  11. […] now had plenty of sweet water, but they would be tested again concerning food, and this time there is a clear New Testament revelation concerning the […]

  12. […] Do not be deceived. Jesus wasn’t killed because He threatened the Roman tax system. He was arrested and crucified because He said I AM God – and He was telling the truth! […]

  13. […] they would face, but they could not have been more wrong. They got thirsty and God helped. They got hungry and God helped. Despite their sinful “double D’s” (when God does something we find […]

  14. […] This was something the people were used to (or should have been) from their dealings with the manna (no gathering on the Sabbath, but gathering enough on the second-to-last day of the week to last […]

  15. […] is better than the prophets because He is God. He is better than the angels because they were created and He is the […]

  16. […] this kind of exercise of God’s will would be: the speaking into existence of all of creation; the manna falling from Heaven; and the unredeemed and Satan being cast into the lake of fire at the final […]

  17. […] Song (Exodus 15) 24. Omniscience, Obstacles, Opportunities, and Overruling Oversight (Exodus 15-16) 25. The Bookends of Faith (Part 1) (Exodus 3:13-14, 16; John 6:26-51) 26. How to Raise Your Hand During a Test (Exodus 17) 27. A Busy […]

  18. […] the Israelites in the wilderness, their “spiritual meat” was manna. It was spiritual in the sense that it came supernaturally, but also in that it was a spiritual […]


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