God calls himself the “I Am” in various parts of the bible. God reveals himself to people as a person who comes to redeem them from exile and revert them into a new form of life with eternity. The outlook of God’s name reveals him and what he looks like. All the Bible statements that start with “I Am” conform to a self-existent, infinite, unchanging, and glorious person in every way (Forger, 2020). God is way above all created things and beyond the reasonable explanations about an ordinary man.
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When Jesus applies the same statement of “I Am” to himself, it undoubtedly claims Jesus to be God (John 8:58). Jesus is not a helper to God but a pre-existent, infinite, divine, perfect being. Jesus the God of Israel, is someone greater than Moses since Jesus refers to himself as the God of Moses. Jesus has life in himself, and he can transfer life to all of us, which is why the Jew picked stones to kill him (John 8:59). All the seven statements made by Jesus, starting with “I Am,” echo the ultimate claim of Jesus as God of Israel (Forger, 2020). All the Old Testament and redemptive analogies of God’s actions point to the coming of Jesus as a God in the flesh.
The Deity Verse
I Am the Door, or I am the Good Shepherd
The background of the context “I Am the Door” is documented in Psalms 118:20, and its fulfillment is found in the New Testament in John 10:1-18. He says the clams of “I Am” together as a metaphor to insinuate he I good at shepherding imagery, and the door shows that he guides and opens doors that lead in the right direction. Jesus is the way people can follow because he knows the door that leads to his Father (Forger, 2020).
He can also gather the sheep and care for them along the way. When Jesus was talking to the Pharisees, he claimed to be Israel’s true shepherd. The Pharisees are regarded as bad shepherds in Jeremiah 23. Therefore, Jesus uses the metaphor to lump the Pharisees to decamp from false prophets. Jesus comes to relieve people from their burdens and not to misguide the sheep on their way home. The verse openly states that Jesus seeks out, heals, feeds, and rescues the sheep and puts them where they belong. Jesus proves this when he gives his life on the cross for the sheep.
The shepherd illustration happens between the Feast of Tabernacle and the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22). When Jesus was in Jerusalem with his disciples, he healed a man who was born blind. The Pharisees started reacting to Jesus for reacting as the great “I Am.” The illustration can be traced back to the Old Testament in Jeremiah 23:1 and Ezekiel 34. God speaks against the shepherds found in Israel who do not care about their sheep. Jesus also found the situation similar in his public ministries with Jewish leaders. Jesus was making a public announcement to let people know the scriptures found in the Old Testament.
According to the analysis, the Jewish leaders symbolized irresponsible shepherds named in the Old Testament. Jesus is symbolized as the good shepherd in terms of proclamation, whom God portrayed in Psalm 80:1 (Forger, 2020). God is a reflection of someone who cared about the sheep. He is also the one who causes the sheep to rest and have plenty of food. Jesus repeats the same sentiments that God portrayed in the Old Testament to remind people that he is the same who came to be a good shepherd.
Jesus knew what he meant when he said he was the shepherd. Jesus speaks in the same manner that God did in Ezekiel 34. In Ezekiel, God says that he will establish one shepherd to take care of all the sheep, while Jesus comes through to say he is the good shepherd. The two sentiments are a form of Ezekiel’s prophetic fulfillment. It is a verse in which Jesus clarifies that he is the shepherd that God posited in the Old Testament. I Am the door is the third seven “I AM” in Jesus’s declarations (Forger, 2020). The proclamations in John’s Gospel show a divine identity that forms a purpose. The statement about being the door is an exclusive nature contained in salvation. There is a difference between “the door” and “a door.” A door is a form of symbolism with a distinct directive. Equally, Jesus is not someone who leads people into the sheepfold but the only door that can be used to enter the sheepfold. It means that Jesus is the only means of receiving eternity of life (John 3:16).
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Sheep are usually susceptible to injuries and prone to be attacked by their predators. Sheep do not have the speed to run away from their predators because they are created to be calm. Instead, they huddle hence making them easy to slaughter. Whenever sheep fall in the water, they can drown because of their physical size. David posits in the 23rd Psalm that the shepherd who will come will make people lie in green pastures and lead them beside still waters.
Historic orientation notates that sheep are dependent on shepherds for guidance, care, and compassion. This is the same way Jesus contrasts himself against the thieves and robbers in John 10:8 (Forger, 2020). When Jesus refers to himself as the door, it means that there is no salvation without him. The statement is an open analogy meaning that Jesus is God. Jesus further enumerates that liberal religious outlooks can get salvation through his teachings. Anything apart from the teachings means that the religious leader is a robber and a thief.
An individual who believes in Jesus’s teachings and repents their sin can be among the “fold” of entering “the door.” The statements mean without him, nobody has a direction or any form of insight. It also means that we are in constant protection because a shepherd conforms to the glory that any sheep needs at the end of the day. God in Old Testament and Jesus in New Testament have the same idealism (Forger, 2020). Equally, as a shepherd, Jesus still managed to resurrect after his death. When the disciples thought his body was missing, Jesus reappeared to them. The sheep analogy can be illustrated in the crucifixion and resurrection instances because a good shepherd will do anything to get back to his flock of sheep. Jesus claimed to be Yahweh and that he was a deity to people who believed in him. The Jews used to refer to him as God because the deity was claimed through miracles and biblical prophecies.
Application to Student’s Personal Life
Once students realize that the deity of Jesus in the Gospel is the truth, they will make repentance possible. The sincerity of the Gospel enables the student to understand that the atonement made by the Old Testament links with the New Testament. (Forger, 2020) Teaching the truth and opening the realism lacking in some students can be threshed by knowing that Jesus and God are the same things. If the student follows the teachings and understands the bible, it will enable them to lead a life that was the original desire of God before humankind sinned. Jesus needs to be at the center of everything that a student does because there might be a loss of direction without him. Students can seize from judging others and following the golden rule of loving others as much as they love themselves (Forger, 2020). Seeking guidance every day and actively improving other people’s lifestyles is what Jesus advocates for in life.
Jesus deity is expressed in New Testament with links from the Old Testament. Monotheism renders any form of claim to be blasphemous. The overwhelming significance between God and Jesus in terms of identity dominates other forms of ideologies. Theologians from all shades should declare respect for the nature of Christ in all attests Gospel. Biblical verses directly posit that Jesus is God, and the evidence ascribes the deity.
God’s name is applied to Jesus in quotes such as “the Mighty God, Immanuel, and the Everlasting Father.” Jesus is also referred to as the “Son of God and Jehovah our Righteousness.” The characteristics of the deity to Jesus are described as omniscient, omnipresent, immutable, and omnipotent. Therefore, Jesus is the same as God the Father, and he is worshipped as God. His name is the same as God according to the church’s baptismal matrix and apostolic benediction.
Forger, Deborah. “Jesus as God’S Word(S): Aurality, Epistemology and Embodiment in the Gospel of John”. Journal for the Study of the New Testament 42, no. 3 (2020): 274-302. Web.