Jesus Said, 'I Am'

Finding life in the everyday

Andrea Skevington

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Content

Drawing on the imagery of the Hebrew scriptures, Jesus identifies himself as the 'I am' of Israel's narrative.

Through sensitive retelling, thoughtful discussion and creative exercises, Andrea Skevington shows the transforming power of Jesus' words. Each chapter focuses on a different 'I am' saying and offers ideas for reflection and response, including suggestions for further study, prayer and meditation, creative response, 'life and service' practical outreach, music suggestions and further reading.

Jesus said, 'I am' integrates faith and imagination, story and study, helping reader towards a well-grounded and more profound faith.

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Author info

Andrea Skevington lives in Suffolk with her family. She writes for both adults and children, winning the Christian Book of the Year award (Speaking Volumes) for her retelling, The Lion Classic Bible (Lion Hudson, 2011). She also preaches and leads Bible studies and children's groups, creative writing workshops and retreats.

Reviews

Woman Alive: WA Book Club April 2019. Review by Amy Boucher-Pye

This month I'm reading ...

I love having a book that I really want to share with you. Some months I flail around, starting a novel and discarding it before moving on to a life story or an exploration of Christian discipleship. But sometimes a wonderful book comes along that I can highlight unreservedly, such as Andrea Skevington's Jesus said, 'I am'.

In it she delves into the 'I am' sayings of Jesus according to John's Gospel. In the Greek Jesus says ego eimi 24 times, seven of which have become the 'I am' sayings. Andrea explores these (from 'I am the bread of life' to 'I am the good shepherd' to 'I am the true vine') and also the interesting story of the woman at the well.

I love how she splits her chapters into halves. First she digs into the particular story, unpacking the context of what Jesus experienced. The second half moves to reflection and response, including searching questions for individual pondering or group discussion. She also suggests various creative responses, such as writing, photography, lectio divina, and other exercises.

To give you a flavour, let's look at the story of the woman at the well (John 4). Andrea sets the story in its context - that of conflict, not only between the Jews and the Samaritans, but also between Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus stops at the well that Jacob gave to Joseph, which reminds the reader of the long history of God's people. Here Jesus acts as a peacemaker in the midst of conflict. He speaks to one ostracised by society - a woman who has had many husbands. We might judge this woman, but as Andrea observes, in that day, men easily acquired divorces and early death was common.

Jesus humbly asks the woman for a drink. He recognises her as made in the image of God as he cuts through her layers of shame and hiding. Seeing her for who she is, he sets her free. She in turn leaves behind the water jug and goes forth joyfully to share the good news with those who were shaming her. Perhaps that jug, Andrea observes, symbolises the old life left behind.

After exploring the story (with more depth than I've conveyed here), Andrea leads us into some questions, including, 'Are there people you would be reluctant to talk to and drink with? If so, why?' I particularly like her creative response of choosing a striking phrase from the Bible story; hers is 'the well is deep'. We sit with that phrase, playing with it through poetry or prose, writing a story or jotting down some thoughts about it.

If you're looking for a book to deepen your faith and love for Jesus, give this one a try. You'll be enriched and encouraged.

Review by Amy Boucher-Pye, Editor WA Book Club

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Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857465627
  • Published: 18 January 2019
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
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