The Great I AM

In my talk this past Sunday I made a passing reference to Jesus’ “I AM” statements that were found in John’s Gospel. Metaphysically, “I AM” represents our indwelling Christ nature. It is the name of the spiritual self, as distinguished from the human self. When we speak of being created in the “image and likeness of God”, it is the “I AM” to which we are referring. When Jesus shares the “I AM’ statements, we can read these as declarations of our own spiritual selves.
So what do these statements say about us?
  • I AM the Bread of Life - Bread represents Universal Substance, or the Divine Idea of the underlying reality of all things, including our health and body.
  • I AM the Light of the World  -  Light is a symbol of wisdom and understanding. When we demonstrate Divine Truth in word and action, we are being the Light of God.
  • I AM the Door of the Sheep - The door of our mind is the I AM and the sheep are our thoughts. Our ongoing practice is to have our thoughts begin and end in spiritual consciousness.
  • I AM the Good Shepherd - This is to acknowledge that God (Spirit) is the source of understanding and of all help.
  • I AM the Resurrection and the Life - When we raise our mind from sense (human) to spiritual consciousness we experience fulfillment.
  • I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life - Truth refers to the Absolute nature of God as All That Is. As our consciousness (awareness) expands, we begin to experience the Truth on a spiritual level and experience fulfillment on a human level.
  • I AM the True Vine - Our divinity (Christ nature) is the source of our spiritual nourishment and strength.
There is fairly profound reason these passages are only found in the Gospel of John. The authors of the Gospels each wrote with a particular agenda in mind (and with anonymity - the books are not named for their composers). The author of Mark took more of a storytelling/biographical approach. It was the first of the Gospels to be written and it is the shortest of the four. (Quick FYI: Paul’s letters were written before the Gospels despite being placed after them in the New Testament). The author of Matthew was a Jew, and wrote in an effort to convince Jewish readers that Jesus was indeed the long-awaited Messiah. The author of Luke was a gentile (non-jew) and likely a Greek doctor. He wrote to convince a gentile audience that Jesus was their saviour as well because gentiles were told they were excluded from God’s kingdom. The author of John wrote to prove Jesus was the Son of God, or Divine.
Metaphysically then, the story of Jesus in the Gospel of John is the story of us awakening to our Christ nature. This is our spiritual practice: To remember this; to embody this; to be the best Christ that we can be.