Who are you?
How do you respond to that question? How do we define who we are? Most of the time, we say our name, our occupation, perhaps our age or hometown. We might even include information about our parents or spouses.
When the Jews sent priests and Levites to question John the Baptist, this is how he replied:
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.” | John 1:19-23
He never said his name. He never stated his occupation or his age or hometown. He didn’t even explain his family relation to Jesus. I think that last part is most noteworthy. If we know someone marginally famous or important in even the most obscure way, we’re sure to let people know.
All John shared about himself was his purpose. Throughout the course of his life, a single theme emerges: John was committed to his mission. He was a faithful witness who constantly pointed others to Christ. Never did he take advantage of his position or influence to direct attention to himself. Never did he forget or forsake the mission.
What about us? Society is asking each of us, “Who are you?” The world demands an answer. How will we respond? With our name? Our occupation? Our age? Our hometown? Our familial relations or connections to “important” people?
Or will we respond with the mission in mind? Will we respond boldly and confidently that we are children of God, bondservants of Christ?
When I started my first job as a nurse, I was excited for the opportunities I would have to share about Him with patients and coworkers. But I was also shy, nervous, and unsure about how to go about it. Yes, I was able to share a little about the Lord here and there; yes, I was able to “drop” His name in conversations with people. And yes, the Lord certainly worked in miraculous ways through that, but I knew I wasn’t meeting the expectations He had for me. He wanted me to be BOLD. And frankly, I was rather timid.
But then the Lord provided me with two amazing, emboldening opportunities:
- I attended the Galilee program in Lafayette, LA for 3 weeks in the summer of 2015.
- I transferred to the Operating Room when I returned home from Lafayette.
Those three weeks were some of the most intensely emotional weeks of my life. I was overwhelmed by Him and all that there was to know about Him. For the first time in my life, I was being poured into. I was reminded that I am not alone in this walk, on this mission for Christ. I was encouraged.
And so I returned to my normal life in August on the verge of a new beginning. I knew this time had to be different. So I went in to the OR on my first day with the mission in mind.
The world demanded an answer. “Who are you,” it questioned. This time I was ready.
I am who I am because of Jesus Christ.
The Lord equips us, y’all. Just as He equipped John the Baptist to fulfill his mission, He equips us too. But we have to embrace who we are in Christ. We have to be bold and confident in Him. Most importantly, we have to be
The world demands to know who we are and Christ deserves faithful witnesses. May we follow John’s example and faithfully carry out the mission we have been tasked with. May we point to Him only and always.