Jesus said a number of things that people have found offensive through the ages. In our so called “tolerant” society, any claim to know an absolute truth is dismissed as bigotry, unless it’s the atheist claim, that there is no God. (Somehow the atheist claim, which is a truth claim like any other is treated as the neutral position and no proof is required or provided!)
Jesus was clear on who He was and what He had come to do. Let’s look at seven statements Jesus made about Himself.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
Jesus states that the only way to the father is through Him. Jesus came to save the world from sin, by taking all our sins on Him at the cross and dying in our place. If it were possible to get rid of our sin on our own, Jesus would not have had to die for us. Any system that attempts to get close to or access God without first dealing with sin, is doomed to fail. Only through accepting the cleansing work of Jesus on the cross can we have peace with and approach God!
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jesus compared Himself to bread, the staple diet of the culture He was in. Jesus is the life giving bread, and when we are in Him (consume Him), we will never need anything else (never hunger or thirst). No other spiritual experience will satisfy us, except receiving Jesus as our Lord & Savior.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Jesus is the light that drives out the darkness from our lives. He brings us into relationship with God and removes the deception and evil of the devil by bringing truth. We are lost and dying until we receive Jesus who gives us a destiny and a hope and who brings us into eternal life with Father God.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Jesus is the door through which we go to find pasture. Any others, who climb into the sheep pen (the world) over the wall (like the devil) are thieves and robbers, out to steal, kill and destroy from the sheep (humans). Jesus was born into the world as a man, thereby entering legally. He came so that we may have abundant life in Him.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
Jesus is the good shepherd who died for His sheep. Jesus died on the cross in our place so that we would have forgiveness of sin. Those that have accepted Jesus are His and they know His voice and they follow Him.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Jesus is the way to eternal life, though our earthly bodies will die, we will be raised up and live in the presence of God forever.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Jesus is the vine (the source) and we are the branches, we must be plugged into Him or we will wither and dry up. We can’t do anything unless we are plugged into Jesus and getting all our strength from Him. We are designed to bear fruit but we will be unable to do so without Jesus.
It’s impossible to read these statements by Jesus and not see that He was very clear on the way to approach God. There are not many ways to God, there is only one: Jesus.
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
In the words of author C.S. Lewis:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”