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Who am I? Who are you? Who am I really? (second time around)

January 30, 2016


I am not providing the teaching this week, so I’ve looked back and old posts and found this one from a year ago…

Who am I? Who are you? Who am I really?

The cold weather has made me a bit, well not so much confused as reflective. I’ve been wondering who I am. No I haven’t completely lost it – I still know my name, where I live and all the rest – but who am I, who am I really? To try and answer this question, I started like most people with the things that I do, the things that in some way define me to others.

So, who am I? Well, I am a husband and I am a father. I am a minster. I am a biker. I am a martial artist (a rather rusty one now but it has changed who I now am), I am… well the list goes on and on. But even if I wrote down 100, 200 or more ‘I am’ statements like that it wouldn’t really tell you who I am, not really. You would have to meet me and spend time with me for that.

Then I thought of Jesus: The Jesus described by Paul in that wonderful poem from Colossians 1.15-20:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1.15-17 – NIV).

Jesus is all things. So if my ‘I am’ list is long then Jesus’ ‘I am’ list must be be beyond long; Jesus’ ‘I am’ list must be infinite. In fact Jesus could shorten the whole thing and just say, “I am” – that would do it. Maybe that’s why the Gospels are littered with so many ‘I am’ sayings from Jesus. Even one where he owns up to who he truly is and says to the people in the Jerusalem temple, “‘Very truly I tell you,’ … ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’” (John 8.58). This clearly echoed Exodus 3.14 where “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I am has sent me to you.”’ So much so that the people in the temple had no doubt that he was claiming to be God himself and went to kill Jesus there and then.

So I have lots of ‘I am’ statements but Jesus has an infinite number, he is God, so is simply, “I am”. But, just like my ‘I am’ statements don’t really get you to know me, so all the 100s of ‘I am’ statements about Jesus that I could list won’t really get me to know Jesus. They are useful, they help me to know ‘about’ Jesus but they don’t help me to really know him. For that I need to spend time with him. I need to talk with Jesus, why not, the Spirit makes that possible?

I need to spend time pondering over the things that Jesus said, and the things said about him in the Bible. I need to ponder and open myself to the presence of Jesus now. Then I can start to learn to feel who Jesus is rather than just know facts about him, even beautiful poetic facts, like, “He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1.17) or “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1.14). Even beautiful facts like these are no substitute for spending time in Jesus’ company.

There’s lots more to be said about this, even more to be experienced. So, I’m going to finish here, to sit with Jesus for a while, listen and ponder…

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