‘Who do you think you are?’ is the title of a British television programme, now in its eighth series. On each programme a different celebrity traces their family tree. Tom Mcdonald, the programme’s producer, warns each participant that history has a habit of taking surprising twists and turns and they might not like what they find. Some are shocked, some are overwhelmed and for most their history was not what they anticipated. Millions of people now make a hobby of researching their family tree. They want to know who they are, and somehow feel that their identity is in their history.
‘Who do you think you are?’ was a question scathingly presented to Jesus by the religious people of His day (John 8:53). In fact they accused Him of being possessed by a demon because He claimed to be one with the Father. Jesus knew who He was when faced with challenging questions. Jesus knew that He was the one and only Son of God, the Saviour of all those who believed, and the One with authority to forgive sins. He knew He was the way to the Father, the truth and the life.
The Lord Jesus asked His disciples the most important question they would ever have to answer, “What about you? Who do you say I am?” (Mark 8:29). Peter gave the correct answer and his whole life was lived in the light of the truth that Jesus is truly God Himself, He is Lord of all. For us today the answer to the question put to the disciples will affect every aspect of our lives and will affect who we are.
Who do you think you are? Some people think they are - what they look like. Others think they are - what they do. Others think they are - what people think of them and so spend their lives living as ‘people pleasers’ instead of making it their aim to please the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:9).
The Bible tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we should do (Romans 12:3). But many people have such a low view of who they are that they reject themselves and become self-focussed and inward-looking. Self rejection is a great enemy of the spiritual life. It’s a contradiction of reality. Each one of us is a child of God, saved and forgiven by the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Our text for today tells us that we’ve had love lavished upon us; the love of the Father shown in the death of Jesus. The experience of this love has made us who we are - ‘children of God. And that is what we are!’ In this assurance alone there’s a sense of belonging, a sense of worth and a sense of purpose for life.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the love You have so freely lavished upon me, so I can be called Your child. Thank You for who I am in Christ. Please give me Your grace to live my life today in the conscious knowledge that You’re my Father, You’re with me every moment and You’ll never leave me. Amen.
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