Posts Tagged ‘metaphors of Jesus Christ’

I am the vine, you are the branches

December 9, 2016

John-15-5-I-Am-The-Vine

The Verse of the Day for December 9, 2016 comes from John 15:5, 8 (NKJV) where we find the final metaphor used by Jesus to share a parable where he uses this comparison:

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

The Amplified Bible renders the verses in this way:

John 15:5, 8:

I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples

This reference relates to the parable of the vinedresser, the vine, the branches and the fruit. That is, it explained how the Twelve were to produce a spiritual harvest for God.

John 15:1-8 records how Jesus, during the evening when he was betrayed and captured, said to the eleven apostles who remained at the table with him (Judas had departed and gone to betray the Lord), that his Father was a “vinedresser” (grape farmer), or “husbandman” as some translations have it, and that he, Jesus, was “the true vine”, and that those apostles were “branches” who were attached to Jesus, the Vine. In order to be fruitful the branches must “abide” in the vine. When the branches remain intact with the vine, God is glorified as the branches bear much fruit.

The Father’s desire that the lives of His children remain fruitful and bring glory to Him matches our desire to give glory and honor to God by the way that we choose to live. As believers, our heart’s desire is expressed in these lyrics:

Let our lives bring praise to you Lord, so the world will know that we are Yours.

Let our heart and soul sing of Your goodness.

May we proclaim each day new mercies and Your faithfulness.

As we apply Your Word and consider our ways,

May we praise Your name all of our days

 

Let our lives bring praise to you Lord, so the world will know that we are Yours.

When we arise in the morning, we greet You.

With the dawning of a new day we rise up to meet You.

When we begin with praise, somehow we always find

Throughout the day You are on our mind.

Let our lives bring praise to you Lord, so the world will know that we are Yours.

The photo shows a fruitful vine from a vineyard that illustrates the parable where Jesus describes himself as “the true vine.”

The photo shows a fruitful vine from a vineyard that illustrates the parable where Jesus describes himself as “the true vine.”

Steve Green offers another musical rendition of this metaphor that Jesus Christ uses to describe himself: “I am the Vine”:

Final tri-fold metaphor: The way, the truth, the life

December 8, 2015

John 14--6

The Verse of the Day for December 8, 2015 provides another metaphor used by Jesus involving three different aspects of the Son of God, as revealed in John 14:6 (AMP):

Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

As the author of an article “Who is Jesus? Seven facets of his life,” I discuss the seven metaphors found in John from which the following comments are taken:

In the opening verse of John 14 the disciples find themselves in a state of shock upon hearing Jesus saying that he is going away and that they could not follow him to place where he is going. They were troubled because Jesus was talking about His death. They were agitated like water in a pot on a hot stove. Jesus told them that He is preparing a place in heaven. He is the means of bringing them to heaven to be with His Father. He is going ahead of them and will prepare a place for them and that he will return again.

Thomas, one of the disciples, asked,” “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” In responding to Thomas, Jesus uses another metaphor with three features: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

The way refers to a path or road or “way.” Jesus declares that he is not only the way; He is the only way to the Father, as he elaborates that “no man comes to the Father but by me.”

Jesus Christ is the full, final and complete revelation of God. Jesus is the truth. “I myself am the truth.” “I and I alone, and no one else am the truth.” Jesus is the actual embodiment of the truth. He is the authoritative representative and revealer of God. He hears what the Father says and does what the Father tells Him to do (5:19; 8:29).

The essence of truth in its purest form is embodied in Jesus Christ, who is “full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14), and he is the source of grace and truth to men, for “grace and truth came by means of or by way Jesus Christ. Earlier in the Gospel of John, Jesus exhorted his disciples that if would continue in his words that they would know the truth and the truth would make them free. To have the Truth is to have eternal life which brings to mind the last part of the metaphor. You can paraphrase John 14:6, “I am the way that reveals the truth (about God) and gives life (to people).”

Jesus Christ is the giver of life, life more abundant in the present and eternal life to come. Jesus promised “eternal life” to all who believe on Him: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28).

Not only does Jesus Christ give life, correspondingly he also delivers from death. Christ conquered death—physical, spiritual and eternal. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

The website abideinChrist.com comments: Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus is not only the way to God; He is the truth of God because He is the embodiment of God’s self-revelation. He is the life of God. You can paraphrase John 14:6, “I am the way that reveals the truth (about God) and gives life (to people).”

Jesus Way Truth Life

The photo of a poster that displays the tri-fold metaphor of John 14:6—“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

This metaphor is brought to life with the Christian Praise and Worship song: “Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life”:

I am the resurrection and the life

December 7, 2015

John-11-25-26

Modified and re-posted below is a blog entry from a year ago:

Another in the series of seven metaphors related to the identity of Jesus Christ is found in John 11:25 (AMP), the Verse of the Day for December 7, 2015:

Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior] will live even if he dies;

The context for this comparison is set with the beloved friend of Jesus, Lazarus, who has died. From this particular narrative comes the shortest verse in the King James Bible found in John 11: 35: “Jesus wept.” The lyrics to an original song “Can You See Messiah Weeping?” describe what transpired in that moving account:

Can you see Messiah weeping, weeping?
Messiah is weeping because of his dear friend.
On the fourth day Jesus came to Bethany
Where Lazarus was sleeping, sleeping.
His life had come to an end.
Then Jesus plainly said, Lazarus is dead, Lazarus is dead.

His sisters ran to him and cried
Had you been here he would not have died.
Had you been here he would not have died.
Jesus answered, and he said in this death God will be glorified,
In this death God will be glorified.

As Jesus told the sisters, so he speaks to us:
I am the resurrection and the life.
He that believes on me, though he dies,
Yet shall he also live.
Believe on me and you shall arise.
Believe on me and you shall arise.
Though we may die, we shall arise.
Like Lazarus, we shall arise.
Nevermore to die, nevermore to die.

 

Garden tomb

The photo is of the Garden Tomb, believed to the place where Jesus Christ was laid after his crucifixion. The empty tomb symbolizes that Jesus Christ is, indeed, the “resurrection and the life.”

Jesus Christ embodies in his resurrection, the ultimate triumph of life over death. As one translation of John 11:25 notes, “The whole power to restore, impart, and maintain life, resides in Me.” 1 Corinthians 15: 54 makes this powerful declaration: “Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory,” according to the Amp1lified Bible.

Gaither Vocal Band offers a song which expresses the ultimate the triumph of the “Resurrection”:

I am the door: another metaphor

December 5, 2015

John 10--7-8

Revised and re-posted from a year ago, the Verse of the Day for December 5, 2015 provides another metaphorical statement by Jesus Christ about himself where he relates to being the gate or door of the sheep:

John 10:7, 9-10 (AMP)

So Jesus said again, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I am the Door for the sheep [leading to life]. I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].

The door or gate to the sheep serves a dual purpose. Such a gate or door can be used to keep enemies or those with harmful intents from entering the sheepfold. It can also be used to keep the sheep within the confines of safety. Ron Graham elaborates on this reference:

A ‘Sheepfold’ is a secure walled enclosure in which sheep are penned when not out to pasture in care of the shepherd. The sheepfold might be a permanent barn-like enclosure for shelter, an outdoor holding pen with stone walls, or a makeshift barricade of briars and crisscrossed pointed sticks. A single narrow opening was provided for entry and exit. If there was no secure door or gate, a keeper would guard the entrance or at night sleep across it. The purpose of the sheepfold was to keep the flock together, keep out wolves or dogs, and to make it difficult for thieves or vandals to steal or harm the sheep. A flock of sheep is a very valuable but vulnerable asset. A good shepherd knows and loves his sheep and guards them with his life against all predators. He keeps his flock together and fetches back any sheep that stray. A sheepfold was necessary for the protection of the flock.

Farmyard GateThe photo of a farmyard gate shows sheep quietly grazing on the other side of the entrance. Similarly, Jesus describes himself as a door or gate to the sheep.
The Sheep Gate is also mentioned in the rebuilding of the wall and the gates at Jerusalem during the time of Nehemiah. A teaching series on the gates of Jerusalem was the inspiration for this poem which comes to mind while thinking of John 10:

At the Sheep Gate

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep,
and am known by My own
As the Father knows Me,
even so I know the Father;
and I lay down My life for the sheep.

John 10:14-15

Here stands a company of priests, a holy nation,
Those called, chosen and set apart faithfully to serve,
To restore the sacred place of adoration.
Our lives have become open books for all to observe.
Even as priests prepared the altar of sacrifice,
We commit our lives to serve the Lord and vow to keep
Our covenant both with God and with one another.
As the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep,
We are willing to give our lives for a sister or brother.
We have been sent to the sheepfold to guard and protect
Indeed, we are willing to pay the ultimate price
To follow Christ that our love might be made perfect.
At the Sheep Gate God first speaks that His will might be known:
That shepherds with His heart should serve and preserve His own.

We close with this lively musical rendering of John 10:10: “I have come”

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

December 8, 2014

John 14--6

Another metaphor used by Jesus involves three different aspects of the Son of God, as revealed in John 14:6 (NLT):

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

As the author of an article “Who is Jesus?: Seven facets of his life,” I discuss the seven metaphors found in John from which the following comment is taken:

In the opening verse of John 14 the disciples find themselves in a state of shock upon hearing Jesus saying that he is going away and that they could not follow him to place where he is going. They were troubled because Jesus was talking about His death. They were agitated like water in a pot on a hot stove. Jesus told them that He is preparing a place in heaven. He is the means of bringing them to heaven to be with His Father. He is going ahead of them and will prepare a place for them and that he will return again. Thomas, one of the disciples, asked,” “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

In responding to Thomas, Jesus uses another metaphor with three features: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

The way refers to a path or road or “way.” Jesus declares that he is not only the way; He is the only way to the Father, as he elaborates that “no man comes to the Father but by me.”

Jesus Christ is the full, final and complete revelation of God. Jesus is the truth. “I myself am the truth.” “I and I alone, and no one else am the truth.” Jesus is the actual embodiment of the truth. He is the authoritative representative and revealer of God. He hears what the Father says and does what the Father tells Him to do (5:19; 8:29The essence of truth in its purest form is embodied in Jesus Christ, who is “full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14), and he is the source of grace and truth to men, for “grace and truth came by means of or by way Jesus Christ. Earlier in the Gospel of John, Jesus exhorted his disciples that if would continue in his words that they would know the truth and the truth would make them free. To have the Truth is to have eternal life which brings to mind the last part of the metaphor. (17:3).  You can paraphrase John 14:6, “I am the way that reveals the truth (about God) and gives life (to people).”

Jesus is the way:

Jesus Christ is the giver of life, life more abundant in the present and eternal life to come. Jesus promised “eternal life” to all who believe on Him: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28).

Not only does Jesus Christ give life, correspondingly he also delivers from death. Christ conquered death—physical, spiritual and eternal. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

The website abideinChrist.com comments: Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus is not only the way to God; He is the truth of God because He is the embodiment of God’s self-revelation. He is the life of God. He is “the true God and eternal life.”You can paraphrase John 14:6, “I am the way that reveals the truth (about God) and gives life (to people).”

The photo of a poster that displays the tri-fold metaphor of John 14:6—“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” This metaphor is brought to life with the Christian Praise and Worship song: “Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life”:

I am the resurrection and the life

December 7, 2014

John-11-25-26

Another in the series of seven metaphors related to the identity of Jesus Christ is found in John 11:25 (NLT), the Verse of the Day for December 7, 2014:

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.

The context for this comparison is set with the beloved friend of Jesus, Lazarus, who has died. From this particular narrative comes the shortest verse in the King James Bible found in John 11: 35: “Jesus wept.” The lyrics to an original song “Can You See Messiah Weeping?” provide an account of what happened:

Can you see Messiah weeping, weeping?

Messiah is weeping because of his dear friend.

On the fourth day Jesus came to Bethany

where Lazurus was sleeping, sleeping.

His life had come to an end.

Then Jesus plainly said, Lazurus is dead, Lazurus is dead.

 

His sisters ran to him and cried

Had you been here he would not have died.

Had you been here he would not have died.

Jesus answered, and he said in this death God will be glorified,

In this death God will be glorified.

 

As Jesus told the sisters, so he speaks to us:

I am the resurrection and the life.

He that believes on me, though he dies,

Yet shall he also live.

Believe on me and you shall arise.

Believe on me and you shall arise.

Though we may die, we shall arise.

Like Lazurus, we shall arise.

Nevermore to die, nevermore to die.

Gotquestions.org commented on this situation:

When Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ He was claiming to be the source of both. There is no resurrection apart from Christ, and there is no eternal life apart from Christ. Beyond that, Jesus was also making a statement concerning His divine nature. He does more than give life; He is life, and therefore death has no ultimate power over Him. Jesus confers this spiritual life on those who believe in Him, so that they share His triumph over death. Believers in Jesus Christ will experience the resurrection because having the life that Jesus gives makes it is impossible for death to defeat them.

Garden tomb

The photo is of the Garden Tomb, believed to the place where Jesus Christ was laid after his crucifixion. The empty tomb symbolizes that Jesus Christ is, indeed, the “resurrection and the life.”

The Good Shepherd: one more metaphor

December 6, 2014

John 10--14

Some of the recent Verses of the Day have been taken from passages that reveal seven metaphors spoken by Jesus, all of which occur in the Gospel of John. In these scriptural references the Lord attempts to describe himself in order to help his listeners to understand better who he is. Metaphors provide direct comparisons between two subjects, in an effort to paint a vivid mind picture of one object in terms of the other.

The Verse of the Day for December 6, 2014 is one of two references to the Good Shepherd, and it is modified and re-posted below:

John 10:14-15 (NLT):

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.

The accompanying video dramatizes the words of the Son of God spoken in John 10:1-18 from which the description of “the good shepherd” is taken:

Some of the specific qualities of “the good shepherd” can be found in Psalm 23, one of the most recognized and recited passages from the Book of Psalms:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The second metaphorical reference to Jesus states, “I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” This indicates that the shepherd is fully committed to his sheep and consequently has their full trust. The good shepherd cares so much for his sheep that he is even willing to lay down his life for the sheep, as this phrase is used three times in the sheepfold discourse.

The accompanying painting by 19th Century German artist Bernard Plockhorst depicts the Good Shepherd whose sheep follow Him willingly and eagerly because he is willing to do anything for their well being, even if it means laying down his own life.

The accompanying painting by 19th Century German artist Bernard Plockhorst depicts the Good Shepherd whose sheep follow Him willingly and eagerly because he is willing to do anything for their well being, even if it means laying down his own life.

The following video by Scott Krippayne provides a graphic and musical illustration of Psalm 23:

It is certainly comforting to know that the Lord, indeed, is our shepherd and that he is a good one.

Fernando Ortega sings of “The Good Shepherd”:

I am the vine: Yet another metaphor

December 9, 2013

John-15-5

The Verse of the Day for December 9, 2013 offers yet another metaphor used by Jesus Christ to help his followers understand who he is and who he is called to be:

John 15:5, 8:

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

This particular metaphor used by Jesus relates to a parable where he uses this comparison:

 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

This reference relates to the parable of the vinedresser, the vine, the branches and the fruit. That is, it explained how the Twelve were to produce a spiritual harvest for God.

John 15:1-8 records how Jesus, during the evening when he was betrayed and captured, said to the eleven apostles who remained at the table with him (Judas had departed and gone to betray the Lord), that his Father was a “vinedresser” (grape farmer), or “husbandman” as some translations have it, and that he, Jesus, was “the true vine”, and that those apostles were “branches” who were attached to Jesus, the Vine. In order to be fruitful the branches must “abide” in the vine. When the branches remain intact with the vine, God is glorified as the branches bear much fruit.

The following photo shows a fruitful vine from a vineyard that illustrates the parable where Jesus describes himself as “the true vine.”

Grapes

John Michael Talbot has composed a musical rendering of this passage performed here by Jon Mulkey: