Jesus’ I AM Statements in John

These are some reflections by a friend of mine.  See the tab “A Second Peter” at the top of the page for more background.  I’ll be sharing his thoughts from time to time.  If you appreciate his perspective (or not) please leave a comment and let us know you dropped by.

“I AM the Bread of Life” (John 6:25-60)

I’m writing short word-clips about 7 strange things Jesus said and 7 strange things he did. His life was interesting even if you think he wasn’t god. The first one was ‘I AM the bread of life’ which means: I am the spiritual equivalent to Helga’s (Wonder Bread in the US). I’m nutritious. I get stuck in your teeth. I’m filling. I don’t get mouldy, though sometimes people hide me in the back of their fridge. I’m at the top of the good food pyramid. I’m present at every meal. In Asia I’m the rice of life. You can’t live without me. 🙂

“I AM the Light of the World” (John 1:4-10, 8:12)

It’s not a spotlight, or infra-red for God doesn’t aim at interrogation. People get enough interrogation outside faith communities. Could the light be more like a welcoming fire with room for all and marshmallows? Or mood lighting to develop friendship and intimacy? Or a mirror ball or prism to make people dance and make the world look amazing? Or a sensor light which gives direction just when we need it? Or maybe like the sun which keeps a whole population perfectly warm? Yes! And more.

“I AM the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11-18).

I’m urban. So I’ll try and urbanise God/ Shepherds. God is like a sober driver who not only drives his unstable friends home, but keeps them out of fights in the city and takes them to McDonalds on the way home, and tucks them into bed and holds their hair back when their puking. God is like a gardener who during a heat wave shepherds his plants through the sun, by watering them and holding an umbrella over them, even it involves him getting sunburnt or going without showers so he can spare the water.

“I AM the Gatekeeper” (John 10:1-10)

God is not like the doorman at a night club who only lets you in if you’re blonde, size six and on the arm of a tanned and wealthy man, and God doesn’t misplace your bag and umbrella on the way out. God is like a boss who pays so well, that no employees can be head-hunted. God is the guy at a concert who helps people sneak over the fence when the concert sells out. God is like the sculpture on the Tullamarine freeway: ‘this city is always open’. God gives people tickertape parades when they enter his door.

“I AM the Resurrection” (John 11:17-44)

What does someone mean when they say they ARE the resurrection. I’m pretty sure this is an example of Jesus’ poor use of grammar. (Ha ha)

What I think he was saying is this:

  • God is like a graffiti artist who takes an ugly urban city scape and transforms it with colour and beauty.
  • God is like a sculptor who takes reclaimed guns by the thousands and crafts them into a sculpture of a tree which is a sign of life and strength rather than death and hatred. (This happened in I think Mozambique)
  • God is like Soul-Viagra who can take people with impotent spirituality and raise questions and hopes within them of a better future.
  • God is that feeling when you first stir in the morning and realise “I didn’t die in my sleep!!!! It wasn’t 3 days, but 8 hours, but I’m back to face another day!!!”
  • God is the bullish stock market that transforms devalued people into irreplaceable priceless people.
  • God is like the builder on Bruce street who went into a heritage listed house which was falling apart, and slowly making it new again, not stripping it’s original personality, but removing the mould, rust, bare wood, and spiders with newness and aesthetic perfection. (It may even be Art Deco-God does period pieces too)
  • God is like the buddhist symbol of a lotus, which grows from the muddy bottom of a river into an amazing flower.
  • God is like the Harry Potter-mentioned Phoenix which rises from the ashes.
  • God is like an old man/woman who is about to die, who passes on wisdom with his final months into the ears and heart of a younger person. (Yes, I just read Tuesdays with Morrie.)
  • God is like a plastic surgeon who instead of giving his patient massive breasts, spends time redesigning bodies disfigured by burns.
  • God is like a masseur who takes a body worn out and broken by the high pace, high impact life it leads, and rubs life and limberness into every muscle.

“I AM the Vine and the Gardner” part a (John 15:1-17)

God being the vine brings to mind the body’s circulatory system. Being connected to Spirit means you’re healthy, and will never contract social leprosy, or emotional diabetes. I wonder how we avoid clotting? It also makes me think that God is like a good mobile phone network and choosing a wise company allows you to be on God’s wavelength more often. Please avoid the spiritual equivalent of using a Three phone in north Tasmania: no contact, no answering machine access, no news. 😉

“I AM the Vine and the Gardner” part b (John 15:1-17)

I’m a gardener and I do understand how God might do gardening in our hearts and minds, but he’s also like a cancer specialist, and a personal trainer. Both professionals see some danger within us, whether it’s deadly or unhealthy. Both make thorough assessments, plan surgery/ workouts, and are always aware of the possibility of relapse. Following God can be similarly voluntary, at your own pace, quite challenging, easier in groups and filled with hope: the dream of health always held before us.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Meeting God on Any Day but Sunday – Romans 12:1-2 « Peter’s Patter

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