I have found Andrew Sach, a pastor of Grace Church Greenwich, to be one of those teachers who repeatedly demonstrates that passages we may have heard taught the same way many times, may not actually be about what we think they’re about. And how does he go about gaining this kind of insight? His repeated admonition is to “go bigger, go older” when studying any passage in the Bible.

By going bigger, he means that we need to consider the larger chunk of Scripture in which the passage we’re teaching is found. And by going older, he encourages Bible handlers to look carefully for allusions to the Old Testament that will provide insight into the passage. These are exactly the tools Sach brought to the “I Am” statements in John in our discussion, helping us as teachers to go deeper into what Jesus was communicating about himself through vivid images such as bread, light, shepherd, door, and vine.