Jesus said...

 

 

Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life

Jesus shocked His disciples gathered around Him by the unexpected announcement that He would soon leave them.  The time had come to finish the work Father sent Him to earth to do.  His physical presence would leave the Earthly Kingdom; and return home to His Father’s house in heaven.

In their distress and grief, Jesus comforted them by explaining that He went to prepare a place there for them, also. And they would be there with Him for eternity.

Still unclear on who Jesus really was, Thomas tried to pin down His destination so they could find Jesus later. Jesus said, I AM:

the Way – by believing and receiving Him by faith, He’s the only means accepted by the God the Father to eternal life

the Truth – as absolute Truth in person and character, Jesus revealed God the Father and divine thought

the Life - the author and giver of natural, spiritual and eternal life.

---Beverly Nickles

 

 

 

Jesus said, I am the bread of life

I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me shall never hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)

Jesus Christ professed to be “the bread of life” who by indwelling the human soul could satisfy and sustain it and impart eternal life.

Recently, Jesus had fed 5,000 people by miraculous multiplying a little boy’s five barley loaves and two fish. Because of this and countless other miracles, crowds flocked to Him for help and to witness His supernatural power.

Jesus rebuked them for seeking merely the physical provision that perishes, exhorting them to work for the food that endures to eternal life.  For the bread of life, which God the Father sent Jesus to earth to give.

They demanded a sign to believe Him as the Christ, such as the manna Moses gave in the dessert.  Jesus responded, “The bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Jesus Christ alone can satisfy the hunger and longing of human souls. He supplies strength, life and all sustenance the soul needs, and deep and certain fulfilment.  As the poet proclaims in Psalm 107:9, “For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

---Beverly Nickles

 

Jesus said, I am the door

I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9)

Jesus states emphatically the He is the one and only entry into the sheepfold.  And promises that anyone entering in through Him will be saved, go in and out safely, and find nourishing pasture.

He teaches about Himself using the imagery of a sheepfold: a four-sided enclosure with stone walls and only one way in and out. Shepherds led their flocks into sheepfolds for safety and rest.  They led them out regularly into nearby pasture to exercise and graze.

Jesus is saying that, as sole Mediator between God and man, He is the only entry into covenant and communion with the Father.  And He can save anyone who chooses to receive eternal life by faith in Him.  Through submission and obedience, He delivers each of these from sin, guilt, condemnation, evil and the enemy.

Sheep going “in and out” of the fold pictures the two-sided activity of a life joined to God.  The contemplative life of secret communion with Him by faith and love. And the outward life of practical work in the activities God provides.  Consistent solitary communion with Him increases opportunities to serve outwardly and draws from Him the power to do it.

Sheep “find pasture” in that Jesus Christ satisfies all true human needs. By consistent faith, love and obedience, a barren life becomes fruitful and empty activities replaced by deeds that satisfy.

---Beverly Nickles

 

Jesus said, I am the Good Shepherd

Jesus declares that He is the “good shepherd” and gives two reasons why that’s true. First, his willingness to sacrifice His own life for the sheep’s sake.  Second, the mutual assurance between Him and His sheep that they belong to each other.

Jesus willingly gave up his own life to save His sheep from destruction.  He laid down his life at the command of His Loving Father, so that He could take it up again.   On the cross, he died to pay for our sins that separate us from God the Father.  Then He rose again overcoming death, and by that same resurrection power offers to us eternal life that beings the moment we receive it.

By contrast, a hired shepherd works for his own sake to receive pay.  Since the sheep don’t belong to him, he lacks the instinct to protect them.  When danger appears, he abandons the sheep and runs, leaving them defenseless under attack. 

And a good shepherd knows which among all sheep belong to Him.  And the timid lambs know the One who truly shepherds them and allow him to come near.  They trust Him to lovingly protect them from destruction; and to provide all they need by His gentle hand.

---Beverly Nickles

 

Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life

“I am the resurrection and the life… And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”

Jesus arrived in Bethany four days after His friend Lazarus’ dead body had been sealed inside a nearby cave.  Standing in front of the cave with Lazarus’ sister Martha and others, Jesus ordered them to open the tomb.

Jesus told Martha that Lazarus would “rise again”.  Martha acknowledged her belief that her dead brother eventually would rise with everyone else on resurrection day.

But Jesus wanted Martha to understand a higher truth about Himself.  He said, “I am the resurrection, and the life…. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”

Jesus’ life is eternal, and He conveys that immortality to the human soul that unites with Him.  He imparts eternal spiritual life that can’t be interrupted by physical death. And that same resurrection power that can raise a soul at the last day, can raise it now.

Then Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”  Lazarus’ dead body responded, rose up again alive and fully restored and, still wrapped in grave cloths, stepped out of the grave.

---Beverly Nickles

 

Jesus said, I am the vine, you are the branches

Jesus used the vine-and-branches symbol to help the disciples understand the vital connection they must maintain with Him to accomplish Father’s purposes on the earth.

After saying His last words to the disciples before facing the Cross, Jesus stood and said, “Arise, let us go hence.”  But the disciples hesitated. Fear and distress shown on their faces. Jesus calmed them by explaining that, though physically separated, they still would and must maintain a close connection with Him.  Doing this required obeying His Word; and receiving supernatural power from the Holy Spirit to complete the work.

This vital connection would be characterized by oneness, unity and fruit bearing.

Oneness: Christ and his disciples together form one whole, and neither is complete without the other.  The vine stem flows life-giving sap to the branches; the branches produce fruit expressing God’s life and love.

Unity: The vine and branches are united, requiring both to be cut to the core and vitally joined together. Through this union, the Holy Spirit gradually makes disciples more and more like Christ; exchanging their beliefs, thoughts, feeling and goals with His own.

Fruit bearing: Bearing fruit is the expected result of this dynamic union. According to God’s purpose, righteous living and increasing acts of goodness and love flow from disciples who remain in the Vine.

--- Beverly Nickles

 

Jesus said, what do you have? Bring it to me.

Jesus has been ministering to a great multitude of people who followed him to a remote place. He’s teaching them about the Kingdom of God, and healing all who are sick.

As the day grew late, the concerned disciples approached Jesus.  “Send the people away, so they can go into the nearby villages and buy food.”

Jesus looked back at them and said, “You feed them.” He was training his disciples about ministry.

Philip reminded Jesus that they didn’t have food, or nearly enough money to go buy food to feed these thousands of people.

Then Jesus asked, “What do you have? Bring it to me.”

The disciples found a boy with a poor man’s lunch of five small barley loaves and two little fish. At Jesus command, they seated the crowd into orderly groupings on the grassy field.

They placed the barley loaves and fish into Jesus hands.  Holding the meager lunch, he looked up to heaven and blessed it.

Then he began to break it into pieces and hand it out to the disciples, who then passed it out among the people. The miraculous multiplication happened while Jesus held the food in his hands.

From that small boy’s lunch, five thousand men plus their families and all who travelled with them ate until they were full. Then Jesus instructed the disciples to gather up the leftover fragments, so nothing would be wasted.  They gathered 12 small baskets full.

The Lord Jesus sends us out to minister to others. We may feel inadequate to the task.  Like the disciples, we may respond with, “But I don’t have the resources. I don’t have enough money.”

Our Savior who assigned the task asks us, “What do you have? Bring it to me.” When we place our small portion into his hands, he blesses it.  And it multiplies into more than enough.

---Beverly Nickles

 

Jesus said, I am abundant life

“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Jn. 10:10b)

Jesus came to give eternal life that starts the moment a person receives it. He offers life overflowing with rich spiritual blessings and all the good things necessary to sustain it. 

---Beverly Nickles

                                             

Jesus said, I am living water

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” (Jn. 7:38)

The one who believes in Christ as Savior receives His Holy Spirit who lives inside. The Holy Spirit gushes up from the believer’s innermost soul like a perpetual spring flowing a constant stream of refreshing water.  An outpouring of God’s grace that continually cleanses and revives the soul, sustains spiritual life, and issues eternal life.  And like a swollen river’s waters, abundant grace overflows the individual’s heart influencing those around him through Christlike words and deeds.

When the Holy Spirit fills a human soul, it forms in that person Christ’s life. The one “who trusts Christ becomes like the Christ he trusts.” (McClaren)  

---Beverly Nickles

 

 

Jesus said, all things are possible

“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24)

A dad brought his son to Jesus believing that He had the power to deliver him from a tormenting impure spirit.  But while attempting to exercise faith, he was aware that doubt existed alongside. He worried that his faith might be too weak to get the job done.  Feeling helpless he cried out in tears, “Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!”

Jesus responded to the man’s request, ignoring his confession of unbelief. He cast the spirit out and ordered it never to come back. Miraculously, the boy returned to normal.

Jesus answered the man’s request and at the same time developed his faith. His son was restored and his own faith grew.  In the process of exercising the amount of faith he possessed, he learned to believe Jesus more.

And as Jesus said, “…all things are possible to him who believes.”

---Beverly Nickles

 

The Lord God says, I am Alpha and Omega

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev.1:8)

The Lord God, the Almighty One, says,

I am the beginning and ending of all things, and everything in between.

I am the Author and Creator of all things; I propose, declare and promise great things.

I bring all things revealed in Scripture to a complete and glorious conclusion.

I am the One who is all things, and I never change.

(adapted from Wesley’s Commentary)

The Lord commissioned Joshua saying: Be strong and courageous

“This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night so that you may act carefully according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way successful, and you will be wise.  Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:8-9)

God commissioned Joshua to the great work of leading His people to take possession of the Promised Land. This would involve leading the army in a series of battles against sometimes fierce opponents protected by well-fortified city walls. But the battles belonged to God, and He promised Joshua victory if he strictly and carefully followed His instructions.  Joshua must hold God’s Word foremost in his thoughts at all times.

The Lord exhorted Joshua to stay strong and courageous.  The Great Jehovah issued the marching orders, and vowed to remain present among them.  Jehovah faithfully keeps His promises; He powerfully performs, and supplies everything required for success.

---Beverly Nickles