Lenten Devotional: Wednesday, March 27
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Here we have the second of the seven I AM statements in the book of John. This reflection could do worse than simply call those familiar statements to front of mind:
“Then Jesus declared, 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)
“I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
“I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
“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.” (John 15:5)
I’m tempted to end there, with a terse closing: ENOUGH SAID.
But ever wordy, let me just add that these I AM statements in context reinforce scholars’ much-repeated reminder that John is the “human” gospel, the one that focuses on Jesus as a man, a social being, flesh and blood: “the Word became flesh and lived among us” (1:14). Bread, light, gate, shepherd, life, truth, vine…divine and—like us—human.
John actually added an eighth I AM, all the way at the end of the New Testament, in the book of Revelation: “ ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev 1:8). Lent is a good time to reflect on John’s seven I AMs and to reaffirm your trust in Christ. He’s coming; don’t delay.