Do You Know Who You Are?

“Jesus knew that the Father had given Him authority over everything and that He had come from God and would return to God.” (John 13:3 NLT)

The setting for the above verse is the upper room where Jesus and His 12 disciples had their last Passover celebration before Jesus would be betrayed and murdered. It’s very likely that Jesus was the only One in the room who was aware that this would be the last time they’d share a meal together until after His resurrection. They didn’t have a clue as to what the next 72 hours would hold, but Jesus is preparing them in ways they wouldn’t yet understand.

It’s a gross understatement, but Jesus was able to do what He did because He understood who He was. He knew He was God’s Son in a literal way, not just “spiritually” like those of us who are God’s children today. In John 3:16 Jesus is identified as the “monogenes” – the only One of His kind! There has never been, nor will there ever be another Jesus – God in human flesh.

Paul said in Colossians 2:9: “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” Why is that so vital to understand? Because it’s in Him we find our true identity. Paul continued in the next verse: “So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”

But what does that mean? What does being “complete” in Him supposed to lead to? What is the value of knowing who we are in Him? Paul uses the rest of His letter to the Colossians to explain what our new life in Christ should look like, in terms of not only accurate belief, but holy, set apart living to God’s honor.

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But in John 13 Jesus painted a picture of what knowing who we are in Him should look like: on our knees before our brothers and sisters washing their feet. “Yeh,” you may say, “I understand what that meant and why Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, but what does it mean for us?” It means the same thing for us as it meant for Him – humility! Unpretentious devotion not based simply on who we are as a human being, but who we are as a child of God.

Rich, poor, slave or king, we’re all equal in the sight of God and should be in one another’s sight. Remember Paul’s words in Romans 12:3? “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”

Jesus washed Judas’ feet along with all the others, even though He knew within a few hours Judas would betray Him. What’s the message for us? It’s easy for most of us to understand we’re just like John or Peter or one of the other disciples, but the fact remains, we’re no better than Judas. Who among us hasn’t “betrayed” Him with our devilish tongue or cunning deception or blatant misbehavior?

Until we can view the Lord of Creation washing our feet through the eyes of Judas, we’ve missed the point of who we are in Christ. We’re not called to humble ourselves in service only to the people who look, smell, act, and live like us. We’re called to love and serve whoever the Lord puts in our path. Why? Because that’s what Jesus did, and we’re His Body on earth today.

Did you notice the first words of the verse from John 13? “Jesus knew that the Father had given Him authority over everything…” The fact the Lord has given us His authority doesn’t give us cause to bypass those in need, it gives us authority to love and serve them to His honor and fame.

How will the world be drawn to Him if those of us who bear His holy name don’t give them an accurate picture of who He is? And how will we ever illustrate what He’s like if we don’t know who we are in Him?

Food for thought.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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