As I was reading in my Life Application Study Bible, I came across study notes on The Names of Jesus:
In different settings, Jesus gave himself names that pointed to special roles he was ready to fulfill for people. Some of these refer back to the Old Testament promises of the Messiah. Others were ways to help people understand him.
- Son of Man (John 6:27)
Jesus’ favorite reference to himself. It emphasized his humanity - but the way he used it, it was a claim to divinity.
- Bread of Life (John 6:35)
Refers to his life-giving role. That he is the only source of eternal life.
- Light of the World (John 8:12)
Light is a symbol of spiritual truth. Jesus is the universal answer for man’s need of spiritual truth.
- Gate for the Sheep (John 10:7)
Jesus is the only way into God’s kingdom.
- Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
Jesus appropriated the prophetic images of the Messiah pictured in the Old Testament. This is a claim to divinity, focusing on Jesus’ love and guidance.
- The Ressurection and the Life (John 11:25)
Not only is Jesus the source of life, he is the power over death.
- The Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
Jesus is the method, the message, and the meaning for all people. With this title he summarized his purpose in coming to earth.
- The Vine (John 15:1)
This title has an important second part, “you are the branches.” As in so many of his other names, Jesus reminds us that just as branches gain life from the vine and cannot live apart from it, so we are completely dependent on Christ for spiritual life.