Tell Us Who You Are!

"The disciples of John the Baptist told John about everything Jesus was doing. So John called for two of his disciples, and he sent them to the Lord to ask Him, 'Are You the Messiah we've been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?' " Luke 7:18-19....."Tell us who You are,' they demanded. Jesus replied, 'I am the One I have always claimed to be.' " John 8:25

 

Knowing just who Jesus is can be, and is, a lifelong journey. Countless ones never do find out. Sometimes, too often, many of these are ones who would profess to be, who are, His followers. Why do we have such difficulty recognizing who He is? Why must He so often ask us, as He did Thomas, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you still don't know Me?" Lack of intimacy with Him is surely a great part of it. It's hard to know someone we spend so little time with. Unbelief is certainly another. Despite our protests, we can have a great deal of that as concerns Him.
Still, I think many of us fall into the trap that John did; our expectations of Him have left us disappointed. John, who recognized just who Jesus was when he baptized Him, was now in prison. This did not fit in with what his expectations of the Messiah were. Sitting in his cell, his doubts increased. Thus the sending of his disciples to inquire as to whether Christ really was the long awaited Savior; or should he, and everyone else, "look for someone else?" You and I can identify, can't we?


As it did John, the life of faith will lead us into many unexpected places, many of them decidedly uncomfortable, and often dangerous. Places our flesh would not choose to be. Places our flesh are sure a loving Christ would not lead us to or allow. It's in those places we hear the whispers of hell that suggest the Jesus we have been following has betrayed us, and is not at all who He claims to be. Those whispers begin to sound a great deal like the accusations of the unbelieving Pharisees in John 8, "Who is He really," they ask. Yet, if we will listen, we will hear His still small  voice in reply, "I am who I have always claimed to be." Those same two words were also spoken to Moses when he encountered God at the burning bush and asked who He was...."I Am," was His reply. It still is to all our questions. The great I Am will always be so, and He will be so in the Person of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is fully who He claims to be....not who we think He should be.

In my walk with Him I have had so many expectations of who He is and how He should behave. Most of them were wrong. I have learned and continue to learn that to walk in His victory means I must surrender all of them to Him, except these; that He is God, and that He is a good God. That He is Christ, and that He is a loving Christ. And these claims will be proven as His Holy Spirit continually reveals more and more about Him to my heart and spirit. And to yours as well.

 

To John's question, Jesus replied, "Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard - the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, 'God blesses those who are not offended by Me.' " John never left his cell, but there can be no doubt that Christ's words were enough. He had been offended, but he would be offended no more. He now knew beforehand, what Paul would say later, "I know who I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him.....until that day." And beyond that day. Can you? Can we?

Have your expectations been dashed? Are you hearing the whispers that He is not who He has claimed to be? Has He offended you? Has He been with you so long, and yet like Thomas, you still don't know who He is? Let the witness of His Life and Spirit speak to your heart. He will if you are willing to hear. I Am speaks to you. He seeks to persuade you. Are you persuaded? Do you know whom you have believed? Or, have you gone looking for someone, or something else?

 

Blessings,
Pastor O

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