This is lesson five in a 12 lesson discipleship course for believers. This material covers the essentials of the Christian faith including Jesus, the Bible, God’s Word, God, Assurances, and what God expects of believers after they come to Christ. This study can be used to teach new believers, to brush up on your Bible basics, or to study on your own. The end of each lesson contains a list of questions and Bible references for further study on the topic of that lesson as well as a suggested memory verse. For more lessons in the series, see the links at the bottom of this page. All lessons can be printed, shared, copied, or distributed. In this lesson, see what Jesus said about Himself in the Bible.
What Jesus Said About Himself – Lesson Five
Jesus Christ Is…
We have already learned that Jesus Christ is God’s Son (John 10:36, Luke 22:70). He is one hundred percent man and one hundred percent God, the God-man. He taught many great lessons, teaching with amazing authority. He was the great doctor and healed people of all kinds of diseases and defects that the best doctors in the world were powerless to treat. Most importantly, He came as our Savior, to die on the cross for our sins and to bridge the gap separating us from God. He was the perfect Lamb of God.
Now we are going to look at what Jesus said about Himself so that we can know Him more deeply and also understand the kind of relationship we can have with Him.
In the Old Testament one man named Moses asked God to tell him His name. God answered, “I AM WHO I AM.” (Exodus 3:14) Jesus alluded to this in John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Jesus is identifying Himself as God. He is one hundred percent God and has always existed. Seven other times Jesus used this structure “I am” to show different aspects of His divine nature and His relationship to us.
The Bread of Life
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. John 6:35-36
When Jesus makes a statement they are not empty words. He generally does a visible miracle in order to demonstrate He has the authority for His claims. If a normal person says, “I am the bread of life” it doesn’t mean anything. But in the first part of John 6, Jesus fed five thousand people with just five pieces of bread and two fish. After they had eaten their fill there were twelve baskets of leftovers! Jesus physically provided food for thousands. This miracle proved Jesus’ claim that He is the bread of life to be true.
And what does this mean that He is the bread of life? Food is something that we need everyday. If we don’ have it we will feel hungry. This hunger cannot go away and will grow stronger and stronger until the point that we can think of nothing else. The drive for food is perhaps the most basic to humans. Without it we are hollow, weak, and unsatisfied.
In a similar way, God put inside all humans a need for a relationship with Him. Without it we cannot be fulfilled spiritually. People try to fill this hole in their hearts with all kinds of things including: money, entertainment, family, career, and friends. But none of these can find lasting help. If we trust in them we will go through life being spiritually hungry, empty and unsatisfied. However, we have hope. Jesus is our spiritual bread. He will fulfill this heartfelt desire, give us a purpose and goal for our life, and satisfy us. He will fill the empty spot in our life and give us abundant life (John 10:10). His condition is that we come to Him.
The Light of the World
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12
In the Bible darkness is a symbol for sin or untruth. Without Christ every person is walking in darkness. We are blind and don’t know the truth. Neither do we know the right way to go. Jesus referred to the religious teachers of His day as “blind guides” (Matthew 23:24). He also discussed the problem of blind guides saying, “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into the pit?” (Luke 6:39). Man has come up with all kinds of sciences, philosophies, psychologies, theories, and religions. Without Christ we cannot know what is true and what is not. Without Him we are blind, walking in the darkness, continuing in our sin, and following blind leaders.
Some people enjoy walking in the darkness because they want to continue sinning in secret and go their own way without interference (John 3:19). Jesus desires to free us from this pattern. He is willing to open our eyes to the truth! He wants us to know what is right and what is wrong. His light will show us which way to go in this dark world. He will give us the strength to overcome our sins and live guilt-free in the light of His forgiveness. This light is life. John 8:32 says that the “truth will set you free”. If you want the light from God you must follow Jesus.
And once again, Jesus did a miracle to back up His words. In the very next chapter (John 9) Jesus healed a man who was born blind. This man had never seen any light in this world until Jesus healed His eyesight. He can open not only physical eyes, but also our spiritual eyes.
The Door of the Sheep
So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”
In the Bible the word “sheep” stands for all the true followers of God. Jesus says that He is the door. In John 10:9 Jesus says, “I am the door, if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and find pasture.” That means Jesus is the only way by which we can follow God. He is the only way of salvation. There are not many doors to heaven. There are not multiple gods or multiple ways to God. In Acts 4:12 we learn, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Jesus wants us to come through the door, to find the “pasture” or place of rest. But anyone who doesn’t come through this door is outside and is lost.
Matt 7:13-14 tells us more about this door (gate), “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” The door of Jesus is narrow. It is not easy to go through because to do so we must repent of our sins and place our faith in Christ. It is much easier to follow the crowd and go the popular way. This way is so simple. It is wide and smooth and we can keep going how we like without making any changes in our life. But look at the results. The easy, wide way leads to destruction! But by going through the narrow door of Jesus we can have life, both here in this world and after we die!
The Good Shepherd
I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11
Jesus is the shepherd and His followers are the sheep. Sheep are animals that cannot take care of themselves well. Left alone, they will probably starve, drown, or be eaten by wolves. They need continued care and protection. The shepherd is the one that takes care of them. He leads them back and forth to eat food, drink water, and rest. He watches over them in the night and protects them from attackers. He even uses his rod to pull them back on the path if they start to wander away.
As our good shepherd, these are the things that Jesus does for us. He protects us from our enemies. He takes care of our physical needs such as food, water, shelter, and clothes. He also takes care of all of our spiritual needs. As our shepherd, He may also jerk us back onto the narrow road if we start to sin and wander off.
Most paid shepherds will run away if there is serious trouble. They would rather save themselves than the sheep. But Jesus was the opposite. He gave His very life for His sheep!
Although sheep are weak animals, they are very trusting and very good followers. We also need to put our trust in Christ and follow Him completely by obeying His commands.
The Resurrection and the Life
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” John 11:25
From Romans 6:23 we know that the wages of sin is death. This death doesn’t only refer to physical death, but it also refers to spiritual death. Spiritual death is separation from God and is punished by an eternity in hell. This is terrible news for humans. By our own efforts we cannot escape this fate.
But Jesus promises hope! We don’t have to be doomed to separation from God and punishment! We don’t have to go through life as a slave of sin! By believing in Jesus we can have a new life, here in this earth and after we die. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold new things have come.” Jesus promises a resurrection in our spiritual lives. He will wash away our sins and give us a new, joyful life in Him. But that’s not all! Even though our body will die, that is not the end for us. It is the beginning of a new and wonderful life in the very presence of Jesus.
These are some amazing promises. But once again Jesus proved they are true. Shortly after he said “I am the resurrection and the life” he raised a man from the dead. Even more incredible, He himself raised from the dead, proving He has the power over death and the power to give us this life.
The Way, Truth, and Life
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6
We already saw how Jesus is the way and the life. In this verse He adds “truth”. These days it is very popular to believe in relative truth. Some people think that one person’s truth is not another’s. They think that if you believe something it is true and that if you don’t believe something it is not true. Others say there is no way to know truth for sure. Even teachers and experts include many words in their theories such as “probably”, “I think”, and “maybe”.
Jesus wasn’t like that. This is an absolute claim. There is no middle. When Jesus taught, He taught with “authority” (Luke 4:32). He is truth and we can know truth through Him and through His life. It is possible to know truth and be certain of it because Jesus revealed it to us. Do not go through life wandering and confused like a chicken without it’s head on. Do not go through life discouraged because you don’t know what is right and wrong or have any absolute standard to live by. Instead believe in Jesus and His words.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
The vine is the source of nutrients for the branch or fruit of a plant. It carries much needed water and food. The branches must connect into it to get these nutrients. If a branch gets disconnected from a vine it dries up and dies.
In the same way, Jesus is our vine. This means that He provides us with all of the important nutrients we need for spiritual life. Through His Word and His Spirit we can grow stronger and healthier. If we continue to have a close relationship with Jesus and learn and grow in Him we can bear much fruit. That means our lives will be useful and productive. We can have an influence on others and there our lives do have a lot of meaning. To have true success, we must depend on God.
- Why were the people amazed about Jesus? How did His teachings differ from their religious rulers? (Matthew 7:29)
- What kind of people did Jesus focus on ministering to? What does this show us about His character? (Mark 2:17)
- How did Jesus treat the people around Him? What does this show us about His character? (Mark 10:45)
- How did Jesus feel about the people? Why? (Matthew 9:36)
- What was the driving force behind Jesus’ life and actions? (John 4:34, John 5:30)
- Write in your own words who Jesus is and what He has done based on John 1:1-5 (In these verses the “Word” refers to Jesus. See John 1:14.).
- In what way was Jesus a human like us? How does this verse show He was still different from us? (Hebrews 4:14-15)
- Read John 2:13-17 and write down what this event shows us about Jesus and His character.
- Read John 5:46-54 and write down what this event shows us about Jesus’ divine nature.
- Read Philippians 2:5-10 and write down what we can learn from it about Jesus and His character.
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