Anytime I read portions of the Book of John, I find myself thinking: you can not read this book without wrestling with faith and belief. This book brings us face to face with Jesus and who He truly claimed to be.
If our goal is to simply keep Jesus in a nice tidy “He sure was a great teacher who showed us how to treat other people.” box, then reading and wrestling with the words in the Book of John will be hard.
Because Jesus didn’t leave any wiggle room in this book.
His declarations were clear.
John 6: 35, 48 I am the bread of life
John 8: 12, 9:5 I am the light of the world
John 8: 58 Before Abraham was, I am
John 10:9 I am the door
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd
John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life
John 15:1 I am the true vine
He doesn’t claim to be one good option of bread (like when you go to Subway and make a choice between Italian Herb & Cheese or Honey Oat) from an assortment of good choices.
He doesn’t claim to be one of many beautiful lights that will take us by the hand and lead us out of darkness.
He doesn’t claim to be a one of many great doors to choose from (kind of like that show “Let’s Make a Deal” where there might be three fairly good choices but then a goat behind the last one).
He doesn’t claim to be one of many great shepherds/teachers whose voice will lead us in the right direction.
He doesn’t claim to be one of the many ways to everlasting and abundant life.
He doesn’t claim to be a way.
He doesn’t claim to be a politically correct or feel good opinion.
Nor does He claim to be a–whatever makes you happy you should do because truth is subjective– choice either.
He doesn’t claim to be one of many sources of strengths we should root ourselves to and stay in relationship with.
We may have a hard time understanding or accepting His claims in the Book of John, but they should prompt us to dive deeper into the cloudiness rather than place them all in a nice shallow wading pool where we aren’t challenged to learn how to swim or grapple with the ripples of questions or doubts that arise.
Because who wants to wade in shallow waters when there’s a whole beautiful ocean to explore?
The journey into the unknown is worth it because this promise is true too: if we seek Him with all our hearts we will find Him.
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”