Oh how I love a good irony. That being said, how ironic in terms of timing is it that in this PODCAST, on this our fourth anniversary together as a Safe Haven family, we come to Jesus’ statement here in John 15, in the Upper Room Discourse, when He said to His men (and to us!), “I am the vine, you are the branches”?
The irony to which I refer lies in fact that this statement completes John’s portrait of Jesus.
You talk about Jesus in High Definition. How about seven layers of definition, skillfully painted on the canvas of John’s Gospel, that leaves us with no doubt as to the true character of Jesus as the God-man.
Understand that from start to finish, John had but one goal in mind, one purpose to his writing, one theme, one image that he sought to paint in this his artful masterpiece of his master. One the he painted in such beautifully breathtaking detail.
A portrait of Jesus to which John alerted us in the very first verse of his glorious gospel. Right out of the gate, John stated his theme, clearly and unambiguously when he wrote,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
If Matthew wrote to establish Jesus as the King, Mark painted the portrait of Jesus as a servant. If Luke left us no doubt that Jesus was fully human, John balanced books by showing us Jesus is God.
That is how John began his gospel; listen now to how he concluded it:
“In his disciples’ presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book. But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life.”
John’s theme? Jesus is God.
Now, in order to demonstrate to his readers that Jesus is God, out of the abundance of miracles that Jesus performed, John handpicked the ones that he chose to record in his gospel. By doing so, he carefully crafted his narrative: Jesus is God.
Now here’s the thing: In the same way, and for same reason, that John handpicked several of Jesus’ miracles, he also purposely selected several of Jesus’ sayings.
Seven of Jesus’ many sayings, to be precise. A complete compliment of exactly seven. Each one of these seven prefaced with the two telling words,
As you are about to hear, a singularly and startlingly specific phrase. “I Am.” The significance of which was not lost on John. Nor will it be lost upon you.
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God bless you richly as you listen.