Jesus’ Unique Claims About Himself

Author Greg Koukl Published on 03/22/2013

A. Jesus either directly or indirectly made many profound claims for Himself:

  1. The Son of God (Matt 26:63)
  2. The Son of Man (Matt 16:13; Mk 14:62)1
  3. Giver of eternal life (Jn 10:28)
  4. One with the Father (Jn 10:30)
  5. One who forgives sin (Mk 2:10)
  6. The bread of life (Jn 6:35)
  7. The good shepherd (Jn 10:11)
  8. The true vine (Jn 15:1)
  9. The great “I Am” (Jn 8:58)
  10. The giver of living water (Jn 4:10)
  11. The light of the World (Jn 8:12)
  12. The future Judge (Jn 5:22–23)
  13. The lamb of God (Jn 1:36)
  14. The baptizer in the Holy Spirit (Lk 3:16)
  15. The door of salvation (Jn 10:9)
  16. The Savior (Jn 3:14–16)
  17. The Messiah (Jn 4:26)
  18. The healer (Lk 18:42)

B. The greatest claim: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (Jn 14:6).

This is the cornerstone claim of Jesus because it subsumes all other claims under one of these three categories.

1. The Way

  • Lit. hodos, “a natural path, road, way” (Vines, p. 668).
  • Used to refer to Christians because they represented “the way” to salvation (Acts 19:23).
  • Jesus is the exclusive source of salvation. He’s not a way but the Way.
    • This is the most offensive claim of Jesus, it seems.
    • It is the first claim that is jettisoned when Christian groups begin to get “tolerant.”
    • Yet there are at least nine separate lines of reasoning that the Scripture gives demonstrating why Jesus is the only true “way.”
  1. Jesus is the source of salvation for the world (Acts 4:11–12).
  2. Jesus is the Father’s choice (Jn 6:28–29).
  3. Rejection of Jesus is rejection of the Father (Jn 5:23b).
  4. Rejection of Jesus results in God’s wrath; belief in Jesus rescues from wrath (Jn 3:36).
  5. Jesus is the one who provides forgiveness from sin (J 8:24).
  6. Jesus will be man’s final judge (Jn 5:26–27).
  7. Many impostors will claim to provide salvation (Matt 24:4–5).
  8. But there are no other alternatives for salvation (Gal 2:21).
  9. Therefore, all nations are to be given this Gospel (Lk 24:47).

2. The Truth

  • Lit. aletheia, “The reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter.... Not merely ethical ‘truth,’ but ’truth’ in all its fullness and scope” (Vines, p. 645).
  • Jesus is the substantial foundation of all reality.

3. The Life

  • Lit. zoe, “Used in the NT of life as a principle, life in the absolute sense, the life as God has it, that which the Father has in Himself” (Vines, p. 367).
    • Life which He gave to the Incarnate Son to have in Himself (Jn 5:26).
    • Life from which man has become alienated as a result of the fall, “...excluded from the life of God” (Eph 4:18).2
  • This “life” is a reference to Jesus deity. Jesus is the life; He doesn’t merely have the life. He is the source of it.

4. Conclusion:

Jesus is God in the flesh, representing to man all that God is and His plan for mankind (Col 1:15–22).