Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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“I who speak to you am He”

John 4:25-26

At the end of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4, the woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus’ response was His most direct self-affirmation to date in His early ministry, as He said, “I who speak to you am He.”

Other words and phrases had earlier been used, by Jesus and others, that intimated His position. The first example, of course, was the angel’s words to the virgin Mary, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).

John the Baptist in John 1:29 saw Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” The phrase was predictive of Christ’s atoning death on the cross — a death foreshadowed by the sin offerings of the Jews.

Nathaniel said to Jesus in John 1:49, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel.” The Jews recognized the significance of the phrase “Son of God”, as later, when it was acknowledged to them that God was His Father, they sought to kill Him. “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18).

The phrase “King of Israel” was used to refer to the coming Redeemer (cf. Isaiah 44:6), and was commonly used in Jesus’ time to identify the promised Messiah. As Jesus hung upon the cross, the unbelieving priests and scribes mocked him, “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe” (Mark 15:32).

Jesus indirectly referred to Himself as the “Son of Man” and the “Son of God” in His discussion with Nicodemus in John 3. The phrase “Son of Man” was used by Daniel in describing his visions of the coming Messiah in His kingdom (cf. Daniel 7:13-14).

John again weighed in, in John 3:26-30, identifying Jesus as the “Christ”, and saying, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The word “Christ” (from the Greek, Christos) literally means annointed, and was the Greek term commonly given to the promised Messiah. This is clear from the Samaritan woman’s words. “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ).” The term “Messiah”, used by the woman, is the Hebrew equivalent. Consider what Dan King had to say about the woman’s words:

Samaritans saw their “Messiah” as a Taheb, a “Returning One” (from the Hebrew verb shub, “to turn or return”; he was the “Prophet like Moses” of Deut. 18:15-19), seen by them as primarily a teacher of the Law. “He will tell us all things,” is a veiled reference to Deuteronomy 18:18. (Truth Commentary, John, page 80).

While it was necessary that Jesus be cautious in revealing himself to His own people, due to the desire of those in power to do Him harm, He was remarkably plain in His affirmation to this Samaritan. He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God, the Son of Man, the King of Israel, the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” When Peter confessed this same truth in Matthew 16:16, Jesus answered him, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (vs. 18). The kingdom of God is founded upon Jesus the Christ, the chief cornerstone (cf. 1 Peter 2:6-7).

At the birth of Jesus we are told, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’” (Luke 2:13-14). At last the Messiah had come, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (vs. 11). After proving Himself worthy to be offered for the sins of mankind, Jesus was crucified at Calvary. In that death and subsequent resurrection, all the redemptive promises of God were realized. Many false Christs have come into the world. But there is only one true Christ, and our hope is in Him. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).