Updated: Nov 19, 2020
‘Who are you’ is a popular song by The Who and the title track of CSI New York, a programme based around forensic policing where they piece together fragments of a crime scene in order to complete the story or discover the identity of the person who has died. 'Who am I' is a question that often haunts us at different times in our lives. It’s the typical teenage crisis when seeking to understand where they fit in the world and today is even more complicated for them as gender identity is apparently up for grabs. Who am I is also a question asked by those who are experiencing loss. Who am I now that I am a widow-or-widower? Who am I, now that I am retired? Who am I now, that I am separated or divorced? Who am I now, that I have been made redundant? Who am I now that... for each of us the context of asking this question is different. When I am doing adoption assessments, I ask my prospective adopters to describe themselves, not in terms of their personality, but their identity; ‘I am.’ It often proves difficult as to what comes first – my relational status, my job, my ethnicity, my sexuality, my religion, my hobbies, football affiliations or... what? What happens when one of those changes? How would you describe your identity?
Over the next seven weeks we are going to be looking at the identity of Christ – ‘Jesus according to Jesus’; what Jesus says about Himself; His ‘I am’ statements. One of the things I have noticed is that Jesus doesn’t just tell us who He is in words; He shows us who He is by His actions and behaviour. He doesn’t just say ‘I am the Bread of Life’, for example, He fed the 5,000; He doesn’t just say ‘I am the Light of the World’, He gave a blind man his sight and He doesn’t just say, ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’ He raised Lazarus from the dead and rose from the dead Himself. For me, these ‘I am’s’ are deeply encouraging and deeply challenging; they give hope and joyous expectation that God is indeed enough in every situation you and I might find ourselves in, but they challenge me literally to the core of my being about who I am and whether my behaviour and action positively support that. Whilst the context for each of us is different when we ask the question ‘Who am I’ for those of us who are Christians, the answer is always the same. We are His! His son, His daughter, His beloved child, His died-for-one. Where you need clarity and clear vision, may He be your Light and your Way; where you are struggling as a Christian may you know His feeding and the invitation to abide; where you are lost may you know Him to be the Good Shepherd who comes looking for you; when you question where truth is may you know Him to be the truth that sets you free from the lies of the world or the untruths you have been told about yourself and, where there are situations that seem dead or impossible, may you know His resurrection power. As Alec Motyer said, “Whatever our need, Jesus says to us ‘I am that, I am’” Whether we need a friend – Jesus says “I am that, I am,” or a healer - He says “I am that, I am”: He is the answer to our deepest needs! Jesus knew who He was – you and I can be confident too of our identity in Him because He was, is and always will be, who He says He is. Here's the pdf resources for each of the seven parts of this series are here and a Spotify playlist to inspire your love of Jesus!
Week One: 'I am the bread of life' John 6:22-51 Sunday 11th October 2020
Week Two: 'I am the light of the world' John 8:12-21 Sunday 18th October 2020
Week Three: 'I am the good shepherd' John 10:1-21 Sunday 25th October 2020
Week Four: 'I am the resurrection and the life' John 11:1-44 Sunday 1st November 2020
Week Five: 'I am the way, the truth and the life' John 14:1-14 Sunday 8th November 2020
Week Seven: 'I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last and the Living One'