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One of the striking features of the Gospel of John is the way he depicts the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. The other gospels usually tell us stories about Jesus. Then, like the disciples, we are left to ask, “Who is this, that the wind and the sea obey him? Who is this who feeds the multitude on a couple of loaves and a few fish?”

But in the Gospel of John, there’s never a doubt who Jesus is, because he tells us. Usually he does so with a statement that begins with the words, “I am.” Put him in a situation and he will clarify who he is and what he has come to do.

You can put him in the desert surrounded by people who are chronically unsatisfied, and Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

You can put him in the midst of people who are confused, people who ask, “Who are you, Jesus? What makes you different from all the other gurus, rabbis, and religious leaders?” And Jesus says, “I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture” (10:7, 9).

You can put him at a graveside, in the midst of grief-stricken people, and Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live” (11:25).

Or put him in the midst of people who feel disconnected by life’s difficulties, and Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing” (15:5).

In the Gospel of John, in one situation after another, Jesus defines himself and says, “This is who I am….” In the eighth chapter, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (8:12). A God Alert

His words echo the opening words of the Fourth Gospel, where St. John defines the person and work of Jesus in terms of light. “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people … The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” (1:3-4, 9).

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.”

We aren’t called in life to shine our own light…..We are called to reflect Christ’s light.

Thanks to Light of the World by William G. Carter & Leonard Sweet

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