At birth we are given names, usually because our parents (specifically our mothers) like how they sound. Later on, however, many people choose what they prefer to be called. Those with nicknames may drop them for their more mature sounding given names. Individuals may find using their first name easier than their middle one. We often introduce ourselves by saying something like, “Hello, I’m Gene.”
Jesus had significant names like Lord, Christ, and Teacher but often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. In the gospel of John, however, He referred to Himself seven times with different names. Each time He said, “I am….”
- The Bread of Life (6:35)
- The Light of the World (8:12)
- The Door (10:9
- The Good Shepherd (10:14)
- The Resurrection and the Life (11:25)
- The Way, Truth, and the Life (14:6)
- The True Vine (15:1)
Each saying is a revelation of who He is and what He is for each of us. The title of “Good Shepherd” speaks of His true mission and centers on His care, protection and relationship with us. He says that as a good shepherd, “I know My own, and My own know Me.” He declares that He saves His own and gives us eternal and abundant life. He pledges to lay down His life for us as a good shepherd does..
There is nothing that Christ would not do for you and me as we follow Him in trust and obedience. He loves us, saves us, and keeps us from harm. Paul says that we live our lives, “as sheep to be slaughtered.” (Romans :8:36) Life is a challenge and is filled with many occasions that might overwhelm us. But Jesus says that we are His sheep and nothing ever happens to us that takes Him by surprise. He will never leave us, abandon us or allow is to be lost.
As we light the Advent candle tonight and prepare to worship tomorrow remember the many times the Lord has given you His presence and care in special ways. Read each name of Christ in the list above and the scripture with it. Thank Him and put you complete trust and confidence in Him for whatever you may face in the future.