Knowing Who You Are Not
Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
One of the most difficult things in life is having an accurate self-assessment. Knowing who you are (and who you are not) is foundational to everything in your life. However, achieving this is very difficult because we tend to have a high view of ourselves. We play a game of puffing up and polishing up our image. We do this on Facebook, and we do this face-to-face. Then, in order to maintain this image, we are in constant scramble-mode to make sure no one finds out the truth. It’s really quite miserable.
Now, in his day, John the Baptist was a very popular figure. We would say, “He had a lot of followers on social media”. He was the hottest ticket in all the Jordan River valley, and people were coming from miles around.
But what’s interesting is how John responded to this fame. He did not draw attention to himself but directed it to Jesus. John knew who he was; and he knew who he was not. As a matter of fact, when the religious leaders came to John and asked, “Who are you?” John basically replied, “I am not who people think I am…. I am just a voice directing people to Jesus.” In so many words, John was saying, “I’m not called to impress you with myself. I’m called to point you to Christ. Don’t look at me. Look at Him. Behold Him, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”
My friends, what a relief not to have to bear the miserable burden of keeping up a false (and idolatrous!) image of oneself. John found his identity not by looking at himself but by looking at his Savior.
Where do you find yours?
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
(Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’”
~ John 1:19-29 (ESV)