Introduction to Sermon Series: “I AM!” ~ February 14th – April 4th, 2021
“Do you love me?” It was a question Peter thought didn’t need to be asked. It was after Jesus rose from the dead and He had appeared once again to the disciples as they were fishing. He told them where to find fish and then sat down with them as they ate. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” Some believe “these” referred to the rest of the disciples, but Jesus was quite probably talking about the large catch of fish. Peter had been a fisherman and had now returned to fishing, but Jesus had other plans for him. He had told the disciples He would make them “fishers of men!” So the question: “Do you love me more than these?”
Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you!” To which Jesus responded, “Feed my lambs.” Two more times Jesus asked Peter the same question and when Peter insisted that he loved Jesus, Jesus told him each time to feed His sheep. The point for us this: It is only when you love Jesus that you will be prepared to leave everything else behind and live to tell others the good news of His kingdom! The Church is made up of those who believe in Jesus, but what does that mean? How do you reach that place where you earnestly, genuinely love JESUS??? You learn who He is and what He is to YOU!!
It seems that many today “believe in Jesus” as an idea. They have some thoughts about Jesus, but do not see Him as a person, as God in the flesh and as a man who once walked the earth, being both God and man … who taught about God’s kingdom, who gave His life on the cross to bear God’s wrath against sin, who ascended into heaven, who reigns at the Father’s right hand, who is coming again to reign on the earth, to defeat all His and our enemies and who is, in fact, GOD with whom we will live for eternity!!! This is PERSONAL!!!
In this series of messages, we will go to John’s Gospel, which is the most “personal” of the Gospels because John records more of Jesus’ “self-revelation” to the disciples and to others. Who better to explain who He is and His relationship to those who love Him than Jesus Himself? So in the weeks leading up to our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, following His crucifixion, we will hear Jesus say, “I Am the Bread of Life,” “I Am the Light of the World,” “I Am the Gate for the Sheep,” “I Am the Good Shepherd” “I Am the Resurrection and the Life,” “I Am the True Vine,” and then on “Good Friday,” we’ll look at all the questions the disciples and people all around us have about Jesus, leading to the celebration of His resurrection and His declaration in Revelation 1:8: “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, who was and who is to come, the Almighty!” … and MORE!!!
“Do you love me?” Jesus asks YOU! Do you know enough about Jesus to love HIM, or are you believing in an idea rather than a person, the eternal Son of God in the flesh? Discover the joy of knowing and loving and serving Jesus as we hear Jesus Himself telling us who He is and renew your commitment to loving and serving Him, or perhaps, for the first time be moved to respond, “Yes, Jesus, I love you!!”
February 14th ~ “I AM … “ Pt. 1: “I AM the Bread of Life” (John 6:25-58)
February 21st ~ “I AM … “ Pt. 2: “I AM the Light of the World” (John 8:12-32)
February 28th ~ “I AM … “ Pt. 3: “I AM the Gate for the Sheep” (John 10:1-10)
March 7th ~ “I AM … “ Pt. 4: “I AM the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11-42)
March 14th ~ “I AM … “ Pt. 5: “I AM the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:17-44)
March 21st ~ “I AM … “ Pt. 6: “I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life” (John 14:1-14)
March 28th ~ “I AM … “ Pt. 7: “I AM the True Vine” (john 15:1-17)
April 2nd ~ “I AM … “ Pt. 8: “I AM the KING!” (John 18:28-40, 19:1-16)
April 4th ~ “I AM … “ Pt. 9: “I AM the Alpha, and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Root and the descendant of David, the Bright Morning Star!” (Revelation 1:8, 17-18, 22:12-13, 16)