Hebrews 5:9

“And, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” 

Jesus the Source

The term “source” in this verse comes from the Greek word, “aitios.”  The definition of this word is to be “the cause of” or “responsible for.”  Jesus is responsible for our eternal salvation. It begins and ends with Him. Only in Him can salvation be found. There are many people in search of the source of security and meaning in life. It can only be found in Jesus.

The King James Version translates this passage as, “He became the author of eternal salvation…” An author begins with a blank page and brings ideas to life through words. Jesus brings salvation to fruition through His death and resurrection. In Him, there is no other way we can be saved. He is the cause of or He is responsible for our access to a relationship with God. Without Jesus, there would be no salvation.

There are many images Jesus used to help us understand what it means that He is the source. In the Gospel of John, Jesus made multiple “I Am” statements that reveal who He is. These statements caused much controversy between the Jewish leaders of His day. More than anyone, the Jewish leaders would have understood the implications of what He was claiming. They knew exactly what He was saying. Jesus was claiming to be God. He was not someone the Jewish leaders could pass off as a “good teacher,” or a “moral guide.” Either He was God, or He was a liar. Everyone who confronts Jesus must answer the same question Jesus asked His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29).

When we study the Gospels and read the life of Jesus and the claims He made, we have a choice. How will we respond? Let’s take a closer look at some of the claims Jesus made concerning Himself to have a better understanding of who He is.

The Bread of Life:

In John 6:35, Jesus makes His first “I Am” statement. He said, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” This statement came on the heels of the Jewish leaders asking Jesus for a sign. They referred to the manna God had sent the Israelites as food in the desert. To the Jewish leaders, the manna was proof of God’s presence among them in the wilderness. They wanted to know what proof Jesus had to make the claim He did, that He was the One God had sent (John 6:29).  When Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life, He was making a connection to the manna. Just as God had sent “bread” or manna from Heaven, so God had sent Jesus from Heaven. Jesus is the sign. He is the proof. He is the manna.

Just as we need food to stay alive, so Jesus is what gives life to our spirit. Before we knew Jesus, we were dead in our spirits. The life of Jesus gives life to our spirits. We are spiritually alive in Christ. This means, Jesus is everything we need to live by the Spirit and not our flesh. When we identify with Him, we receive all He has for us. If we need peace, He is our peace. If we need strength, He is our strength. If we need joy, He is our joy. The storehouse of Heaven is open wide and overflowing to those who would come in need.

The Light of the World:

In the next chapter, John refers to the Festival of Tabernacles (John 7). This is a Jewish festival to celebrate the time in the wilderness when God came and “tabernacled” or dwelt among the Israelites. God’s presence was among them in the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night to guide them.

The Jews incorporated a special ceremony over the years called the Illumination of the temple. Grand candelabras were lit in the courts of the temple that could be seen from all over the city. It was against this back drop that Jesus called Himself the Light of the World. Associating Himself with the cloud of fire in the wilderness would have been another direct claim to be God. Jesus is the Light that guides our paths. He is the Light that brings revelation to our hearts and minds in order that we might know God and have fellowship with Him. He is the only Light that can point the way to God.

The Good Shepherd:

In John 10, Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd. Of course, the Jewish leaders would have been familiar with this term as a reference to God. One of their most popular kings, king David, had referred to the Lord as His Shepherd (Psalm 23). Is it possible David’s Psalm would have echoed in their minds as Jesus described Himself to be that same Shepherd who leads and protects His sheep? The Good Shepherd leads, disciples, protects and watches over His sheep.

Not only did Jesus refer to Himself as the Good Shepherd, but in this same passage, He called Himself the Gate. In warm days, the shepherds would take their sheep out to pasture and stay overnight on the hills. Certain areas had fenced in pastures where the Shepherd would gather his sheep for the night. While there were walls, there was only an opening with no door. The shepherd would sleep at the opening and act as the door. When Jesus called Himself the Gate, He meant that He is the only way by which a person can know God. He is the only door by which we must go through to receive salvation.

The Resurrection and the Life:

By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. This was no accident. We know this because Jesus had been told Lazarus was sick. He had time to get there before He died. Jesus could have healed him. He revealed to His disciples the reason behind the delay: that they might believe, and that God’s glory would be revealed. Jesus looked at Martha and made one of His boldest claims yet, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He that believes in me, though he dies, will live.” (John 11:25). Not long after this would Jesus experience His own death and resurrection. Only because Jesus resurrected and conquered the grave, will those who believe in Him, also live.

Jesus is our life source. We live and move and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28). He is our life in two ways. 1.) Life after death. Those who believe in Jesus will have eternal life beyond the grave. We live with an eternal perspective that this life is not all there is. When trials and suffering come, we are comforted to know that this life is just a shadow of the reality to come. 2.) Spiritual life here on earth. Before we accepted Jesus, we were dead in our spirit. Jesus’ life enables us to live by the power of His Spirit living in us. This means that our mind, will and emotions must come under the authority of the Spirit living inside of us. We no longer are controlled by our sinful nature, tossed back and forth by every emotion or thought that comes into our mind. We place ourselves on the cross and die to self daily. Paul said, “It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives within me.” (Gal. 2:20). By doing this, we not only identify with Jesus in His death, we have access to the fullness of Jesus’ victory in this life while we wait for Jesus to return.

The Vine:

In John 15, Jesus called Himself the Vine. When a fruit tree is grafted, the gardener will cut off the top of the tree and take a branch from another tree (usually one that produces the best fruit) and attach it or “graft it” into the branch of the tree that was cut. Once the branch is attached to the tree, it will begin to grow into it and bear the same fruit from the original tree it was cut from. As believers, Jesus’ life flows through us. Our dead branches are cut off (our old nature) and He inserts His life into us and we bear fruit that resembles Him. As we abide in Him or stay attached to Him, His life flows through us. God would have His children resemble Him. As the Gardener, He prunes and disciplines. He uses the trials we face to bring about fruit in us that will draw others to Him. This sanctifying process causes us to see our complete need for dependence upon the Lord. Only by abiding in Him can we bear His fruit. We cannot make ourselves bear fruit, but we can make sure that we are constantly staying “connected” to the vine so His fruit will grow in us. The more we study God’s Word, the Holy Spirit “waters” it or anoints it to take root and bear fruit. Just as Jesus is life to us, so are His words.


The Fullness of God in Us

When Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and life abundantly,” He meant it. (John 10:10). The word “abundantly” here in the Greek actually means an “overabundance.”  In Jesus, there is a fullness of forgiveness for sins, a fullness for justifying righteousness, a fullness of victory, a fullness of comfort, a fullness of guidance, a fullness of blessings of every sort. In Jesus, the fullness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell. Jesus said that for those who love Him and obey Him, He and the Father would come and make their home with them (John 14:23). When Jesus’ life comes and dwells in us, He brings His fullness with Him. This fullness is inexhaustible and it’s available to us in Christ. Charles Spurgeon said we are like ants before the storehouses of Heaven.

Do you need protection? He is your Shepherd. Are you empty? He is your Bread. Do you need direction? He is your Light. Do you need health? He is your life. What do you need today?

Jesus turned to Martha and asked her, “Do you believe this?” May we be like Martha and respond by saying, “Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”