“Seven Answers To ‘Who Did Jesus Say He Is?’ All In One Gospel”

It really sounds like the cable television station is more concerned with Laura’s recipes instead of her lists! Hmm…makes me wonder what kind of cable station it is! 

Here’s what Laura means when she says that an amazing thing happens when you put the middle item from “The Seven Titles of Jesus” list next to the middle item from “The Seven ‘I Am’ Statements Of Jesus” list.

The middle item from “The Seven Titles of Jesus” is “The Lamb Of God” (John 1:29, 36). The middle item from “The Seven ‘I Am’ Statements Of Jesus” is “The Good Shepherd” (John 10:11).

Is this just a coincidence or planned by John, the Gospel’s writer? Or perhaps designed by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? For me, I’m unsure. I just know that it’s fascinating to me that Jesus is both Lamb and Shepherd. To me, it speaks to the dual nature of Jesus as both Man and God. 

For some these dualities may be confusing, and there are some who would be much more comfortable saying, “Look, Jesus. Pick one, just one, and stick with it.” But if all of who Jesus is was fully comprehensible in this present life, then would He still inspire our worship so greatly? What I do not completely comprehend but find abundantly full of love inspires my worship! How about for you?!?

“I Believed Him. I Believed Him So Much.”

I’ve been unsure what to write about today’s graphic…other than to tell you I think what this young woman is saying may connect with some people. There are sketchy details, and I’m okay with that. She actually says a good amount even when hurried and afraid.

Anyone can feel let down and beat up. Anyone can feel like there’s something wrong with themselves that has caused their life to turn out as it has. Of all that she has to say, I think the words in the post title are perhaps the most revealing because “Him” could apply to both Jesus and the man at home. Hers is a life of broken dreams.

This series doesn’t really have a name yet. It’s sort of like “Voices From The Last Pew,” but the setting is never a church. It’s more about going out into the world and finding people right where they are because they probably will never go to a church again ever unless the church goes to them first.

I had thought about doing a different portrait like this to go with each of the “Seven ‘I Am’ Statements Of Jesus” found in John’s Gospel, but that may be for a different time. I just wanted to present “I Am The Good Shepherd” right now because it has the most meaning for me.

It is perhaps the one “I Am” most needed by the majority of people who grew up in the church but later outgrew the church. (That is, as adults they feel Christianity to be outdated, irrelevant, or based on silly superstitions, but they had a genuine connection to Jesus in their childhood.)

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11 (NASB)

“and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:28 (NASB)

I don’t believe Jesus ever stops being Our Good Shepherd…not even when we say we have abandon Him or think He has abandoned us.

“If God Walked With People In The Cool Of The Evening…”


This comic strip is an extension of the questions “Who do you say Jesus is?” and “Do you believe Jesus is who He says He is?” These go together because how you answer the first question may not necessarily be the same as how you answer the second question. For example, you may say “Jesus was a great teacher teacher” (or Rabbi as in John 1:38, 49), but you may not believe what Jesus said about Himself, things like “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”

For a Bible passage to go with this comic strip, I was a bit lost. You see, I am at times a bit lost, and I feel that other people are a bit lost too. I think, “If I really believe that God became flesh and dwelt among us, if Jesus really is the Christ, the Son Of The Living God,” then my life should be radically different in some way. And likewise, if the church as a body across denominational and regional boundaries really does believe this, then the church should be radically different in some way. (Like without any teams or divisions…A church body where nobody is left out. Nobody.)

But I’m not always seeing that. 

The characters in the comic strip seem to be so sure that if only God would come and walk with them, everything would be different and better. Yet this is set in the same time period that Jesus Christ actually did just that. For a companion Bible passage,  I finally settled on this parable that Jesus told about a rich man and a poor man in Luke 16:19-31. It just seemed to best summarize what I’m feeling about all of this.

I had always considered the parable to be about believers (Lazarus, the poor man) and non-believers (the rich man). Now I’m wondering if maybe it’s not about me too as I think about how the parable ends.

“…He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:30-31 (NRSV)

If I really and truly do believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life, shouldn’t that radically change how I conduct my life? How I treat other people? How people who believe as I do build a community of faith?

The beginning of a radical change, I believe, just might be spending some time with just Real Life Jesus in the cool of the evening. 

“Of Goats And Emerods (With Apologies To John Steinbeck Fans)”


One of my favorite summertime novels were those of John Steinbeck. For quite a few years, I would read a different one each summer. So the title and some of the wording today is just a fond reflection of those summers. I’ve always appreciated the way a good novel can capture what it means to experience life.

When you sort through all of the gobbledegook and gibberish that has been cobbled together by Flamethrower Mommy, you’re really left with just a lot of what it means to experience death. So I’m not going to touch any of that! (In other words, I’m avoiding all of that like I would avoid a plague. Not even a cartload of golden mice and golden emerods would get me started down that path!)

What I would like to focus on instead is how Flamethrower Mommy uses words that are filled with death. Many of us may be carrying around similar messages. “This must have happened to me because I did something wrong” is one that seems very common. Along with that is “There must be something wrong with me. I’m a goat, not a sheep” is also another one that sneaks into our minds and disrupts our peace. (Instead of “goat,” substitute any negative label or stereotype.) Statements like this put the focus on self, not Jesus.

I also have a feeling that the best way to make changes in my life is to focus on Jesus, not on myself! As backwards as that sounds, it just might be right, especially when I realize that most days I don’t know what to change or how to change!

The question that began this comic strip is a simple one which comes from John’s Gospel. “Do you believe that Jesus is who he says he is?” It is very similar a question that appears in the other three Gospels. “Who do you say that I am?”

But I think the slightly different wording to the question in John’s Gospel works well with the miracle that follows.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 (NASB)

And then Lazarus comes out of the tomb! He is raised from the dead! In other words, it is very important that you also believe what Jesus says about himself. Believing what He says about Himself brings life, not death!

Just as there are seven titles for Jesus in John Chapter One, throughout John’s Gospel, there are also seven “I Am” statements like this one. Each one is Jesus saying who He is. Each one brings life, not death. More on that list in a separate post!

In the meantime, focus on life. Focus on who Jesus says He is, not on what other people think you are or say you are.

“Seven Answers To The Question ‘Who Do You Say Jesus Is?’ All In One Chapter”

John Chapter One is amazing. It’s a chapter to read again and again and in which to always find something new. I had read it many times before coming across this list in a book somewhere. Now I can’t read this chapter without thinking of these seven titles for Jesus.

Seven Titles For Jesus In John Chapter 1

(1) “The Word” John 1:1

(2) “The Light” John 1:7-9

(3) “The Son Of God” John 1:18, 24, 49

(4) “The Lamb Of God” John 1:29, 36

(5) “Rabbi (Master, Teacher)” John 1:38, 49

(6) “The Messiah, The Christ” John 1:41

(7) “The King Of Israel” John 1:49

They also tie in nicely to the purpose of John’s Gospel.

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31 (KJV)

If I had to pick just two of the seven that were most essential, it would have to be “The Messiah, The Christ” and “The Son Of God” as these match John’s purpose in writing his Gospel and as a echo to Peter’s confession when questioned by Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-20)

Still, I think that the entire list of seven is important because together they present a more full picture of who Jesus is. For examples, if we only focus on “The Word” we have the intangible while “The Lamb Of God” is very tangible and if we only focus on “Rabbi (Master, Teacher)” we see the earthly while “The Light” is spiritual.

There have been many studies done on this chapter and these seven titles, and I encourage you to explore them further. The information is too vast to fit into a single post, and it’s much more meaningful when the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to you though God’s Written Word. (Not that I’m trying to dodge an opportunity to do a series of posts within a series of posts, but I don’t want to lose my focus – like I did earlier this week – as I’m working through “The Five BIG Questions” for the first time!)