Three Lovely Titles

Among the many titles given to the Lord Jesus in the Gospel by John, there are three which invite consideration and comparison by their use of the same adjective. He is described as the True Light, 1. 9, the True Bread, 6. 32 and the True Vine, 15. 1.

The first title reminds us of Bethlehem, for Newberry renders the verse: “that was the true light which lighteth every man, coming into the world”. The second reminds us of Calvary, for during His teaching in chapter six the Lord says “the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world”, v.51. The third reminds us of heaven, for when the Lord spoke of Himself as the True Vine, and of the disciples as the branches, He was referring to a relationship which would begin after His ascension.

As the True Light, He is contrasted with John the Baptist, who was a light bearer. As the True Bread, He is contrasted with the manna, God’s provision for His people in the wilderness. As the True Vine, He is contrasted with Israel, the false vine, originally planted and tended by God but becoming barren and fruitless.

As the True Light, He banishes spiritual darkness. As the True Bread, He satisfies spiritual hunger. As the True Vine, He remedies spiritual barrenness.

In their order in this Gospel, these titles bring us progressively nearer to the Lord. He is the True Light, and we were attracted to Him out of the darkness. He is the True Bread, and we may appropriate Him by faith. He is the True Vine, and we can abide in Him in constant fellowship.

If He is the True Light, we can follow Him. If He is the True Bread, we can feed upon Him. If He is the True Vine, we can be fruitful in Him. We are intended to be reflectors of the True Light, partakers of the True Bread and extensions of the True Vine. His sufficiency is exhaustless.