Message delivered at the 2022 Kentucky Indiana Fellowship in July.

Based on John 15:20 (All Scriptures from NAS)

     John 15:20 – “Remember the word that I said to you, “A slave is not greater than his master.”

     INTRO: Thank you for inviting me to fill in for David Johnson. When Waymon called Thursday evening, after I hung up, my first thought was that this is found in John, and one of my favorite series of sermons to preach is the “I AM” statements recorded by John.   

     The McArthur Study Bible notes that in John’s Gospel 23 times in all we find our Lord’s meaningful “I AM” in the Greek text of this Gospel. “In several of these, He joins His “I AM” with seven tremendous metaphors which are expressive of His saving relationship toward the world.” I want us to briefly look at these seven because they are the words that Jesus wants us to remember.

  1. “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE – JOHN 6:35, 41, 48, 51

Every “I AM” of Jesus is intended to meet a need that we have. The words that Jesus spoke in these verses came as a result of feeding 5000 men. After a long day of teaching the people, they were hungry. There was no McDonalds, No KFC, No Long John’s or Red Lobster. All they had was a boy’s sack lunch his mother made for him. I love to tell the story as if he told his mother he wanted to go hear Jesus talk. Mom said to him, “If you are going to go hear Jesus you have to take some lunch with you.” Of course he anwered, “Aw, Mom, no body else takes a sack lunch. I will be the only one there with one!” Mom replied, “If you are going to go you have to take this with you!” And he stomps out!! A few hours later he comes running in and said, “Mom, guess what!! Jesus fed 5000 people with my lunch!!” “Go to your room for lying!!!”

     But that sack lunch in the hands of Jesus made a world of difference to meet the needs of the people. And to beat it all, they took up 12 baskets of leftovers!  Because of the feeding, people started following Jesus for the food he provided. Jesus got into a boat, went from Tiberias over to Capernaum. Of course, the people followed him. He told them in John 6:26 that they followed, not because they saw a miraculous sign, but that their bellies were filled. There are people today who will come to church as long as we give them a handout, but when we quit handing out, they quit coming! 

     As the Bread of Life, Jesus is able to provide what we need, but our greatest need is that Living Bread that comes down from heaven! JESUS HIMSELF! There is a Southern Gospel song that says, “When Jesus is all I have, Jesus is all that I need!” Let us remember the words of Jesus about being “THE BREAD OF LIFE.” 

  1. “I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD” – John 8:12

This statement is after the experience with the woman caught in the act of adultery who needed forgiveness! At the mount of Olives (V.1) Jesus was teaching the people. The Scribes and Pharisees brought in this woman, using the law of Moses to condemn her, but also to trap Jesus! Jesus stooped down (V. 6) and with his finger wrote on the ground. This is the only time recorded in Scripture that Jesus ever wrote anything! What did He write? Maybe the name of one of those standing there that had been with her at some point in the past, but never caught! Then He wrote a second time! I could imagine that perhaps Jesus wrote the word “GRACE”! 

     In Verse 7 Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her!” She needed LOVE! She needed GRACE! She needed FORGIVENESS! She needed NEW LIFE! She needed LIGHT!! One by one the accusers left and she was alone with Jesus. When asked about her accusers, she said, “No one”. Jesus responded, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way! From now on, sin no more!” The GREAT I AM met her need!

     That was when Jesus turned to the people in the temple, particularly the Scribes and Pharisees who had accused her and said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Her needs were met because Jesus is the source of light! He is the source of everything we need in this life and in the life to come! Let us remember these words of Jesus about being “THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

III. “I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP!” John 10:7 & 9 

     There are a number of references in the Scriptures using sheep and the shepherd to give us Christian principles. In Psalm 100 we read that we are “the sheep of His pasture”, and we have a need of protection when out in the field and when in the fold. I understand that when the sheep come into the fold at night the shepherd leads them in. He doesn’t drive them like a herd. The fold is a fenced in or rocked in space where there is only one entry into it called the door. I have heard that in those days the shepherd would lead his sheep to the fold for the night, being the first to enter the opening. He would then walk around the edge of the fold, counting each one as they came in and then with the last one in, he would lay down across that entry. Any intruder would have to cross him to get to the sheep! Speaking of the door, we know that the door of the ark was important. There was only one. The door of the tabernacle and later the temple was the only entrance to enter into worship. And for you and me, the door of salvation is Jesus Christ

     We know that Jesus is the door to Heaven! He is the only door! Heaven has a gate! Many are going to try to get through the gate without the Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Jesus says they are only thieves and robbers that “come to steal, kill and destroy!” We know that we need an entry into Heaven! And we must believe that Jesus is that DOOR!! Remember these words that Jesus spoke when He said, “I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP!”

  1. “I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD” – John 10:11; 14

Our next metaphor is found also in this chapter as we see that Jesus calls Himself “THE GOOD SHEPHERD.” Again the sheep needed a shepherd who knew them, just like we need a Savior who knows us. The good shepherd knows each of his sheep! He know them by their name! He knows the needs of each of his lambs. He knows their tendencies! He knows their characteristics that make them an individual lamb. He knows that one that is usually the last one in! He knows how “Fluffy” always lags behind! He knows everything there is to know about his flock.

     Psalm 23 teaches us all about the Shepherd knowing his flock. And He knows where the best grazing place is. It is called “green pastures.” And he knows the best place in the stream to take them to for water. “He leads me beside still waters!” That is because sheep will not drink at fast moving streams because it scares them.

     We have a need of green pastures in our lives. Our lives are so hectic! We are so busy! We have schedules to keep! There are lots of things to do!

I think sometimes the Lord knows that we need to stop and take a breather! We also need that nice refreshing drink once in a while! For me it’s Pepsi! The shepherd leads the sheep to the “still waters.” Spiritually speaking, we need that water of life that can only come through the provision and leading of the Good Shepherd, Jesus! Remember these words of Jesus, “I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD.”


Everyone, both good and bad, some day will have a need of Resurrection. 

     In Acts 24:14-15 the Apostle Paul was standing trial before Felix! Paul reminded him and us, “that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” Jesus came for the purpose of teaching us about our need of a Resurrection. When Jesus was here on earth He raised several people from the dead in addition to Lazarus.

     We know that Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha lived in Bethany, about six miles from Jerusalem. Lazarus got sick and when Jesus heard it he delayed two days getting there. when he finally got there, Lazarus had been dead four days and buried in the tomb! In John 11:21 Martha chided Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!!” When Jesus said Lazarus would rise again, Martha responded that he would in the resurrection on the last day.

     Jesus knows our need of resurrection to eternal life. He came to meet that need through His own resurrection! Then Jesus tenderly spoke to Martha these words in verses 25-26! “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Those words of Jesus that we need to remember are still as valid today as the day he spoke them to Martha! There is the answer to our need of resurrection! Not Budda, not Mohammed, no man-made religions! There is no other name given among men to fulfill our need of resurrection for our eternal salvation! Remember these words of Jesus that fulfills our need of resurrection: “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE”.VI. “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE!” John 14:6 

Please note that John 14, 15, and 16 were the words of Jesus in the Upper Room and on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed in John 17. One of the things I always note about these chapters is that Judas missed hearing all of this as he was busy doing his deeds, plotting how to turn Jesus in to the religious authorities. Jesus was speaking to His eleven disciples. His words were coming from His heart, knowing the task that was before Him – THE CROSS! His words came from His tender heart for His disciples and for us. He spoke tenderly John 14:1-4. “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Of course, Thomas speaks up! “Lord, we can’t keep up with you!” And then in verse 6 Jesus speaks another of His great “I AM” statements. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”

     We must remember the words of Jesus, “I AM THE WAY”. The Only Way! He is the only way to Salvation! He is the only way to Heaven! He is the only way to eternal life! This has not changed in the last 2000 years! Peter summarized this well in Acts 4:12 when he said, “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”! Call me narrow minded if you want to. Perhaps Peter is referring to the words of Jesus when He said, “I am the Way!”

     Remember the words of Jesus when He said, “I AM THE TRUTH”. Jesus is the truth which came down from the Father in Heaven. We know that there are many false teachings in this world! False religions are everywhere! There are so many false ideas of salvation! Remember the Words of Jesus about truth in His high priestly prayer in John 17:17? Words that have never changed!! “Sanctify them in the truth; THY WORD IS TRUTH!”

     Remember the words of Jesus when He said, “I AM THE LIFE”. We know that physical life came to man as God breathed into our nostrils “the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) But it wasn’t just physical life, it was SPIRITUAL LIFE! The words of Jesus here are life-giving! They are refreshing to us! His words are powerful words; words that give us ETERNAL LIFE! Let us remember His words. “I am the life!”

VII. “I AM THE TRUE VINE!” John 15:1 & 5 

The last metaphor that is given in John is “I AM THE TRUE VINE!” Since in John 17 Jesus arrives at Gethsemane, I picture perhaps that in John 15 He has left the Upper Room and is walking on the path to the Garden. Perhaps He sees a vine growing along the way and He pulls it for His object lesson to the disicples. Maybe He also sees a dead vine that is all dried up! He speaks to His disciples in John 15:1-2, “I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit! These words of Jesus point to the importance of staying in the life-giving vine! They are a warning against the prominent doctrine of “once saved-always saved!” Note also verse 4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” These are words of warning! Take them to heart! Remember them!

     The “I AM” is repeated in verse 5. Do we get the impact of staying connected to the Vine and bearing fruit? Notice the progression of “bearing fruit” in V. 2, to bearing “more fruit” in V. 2, to bearing “much fruit” in V. 5. Then remember the Words of Jesus in John 15:6 which is a severe warning about spiritual growth and holding on to Christ. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” This sounds like judgment to me!   

     Let us remember these words of Jesus! Let us take them to heart! Let us serve Christ until He calls us in death, or we see Him in the clouds of Glory! May we pray with the Apostle John in Revelation 22:20, “Amen, come Lord Jesus!!! And may we be challenged to “Remember the word that I spoke to you!”


Jerry Carmichael is minister of Dugger First Christian Church in Dugger, IN.