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Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Identity

From Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg, page 83.

...while Jesus taught his disciples to address God as "our Father," he himself spoke to God as "my Father," in the singular. In Jewish prayer, God was sometimes called "our Father," but "my Father" was daring, almost unheard of. Many would have marked this as evidence that he was the Messiah because several prophecies describe the Messiah as someone who would be in an especially close relationship with God.* Every time Jesus referred to God as "my" Father, his listeners would have heard it as a bold claim.

Remarkably, Jesus spoke of God as "my Father" when he was only twelve years old. Remember his response to his parents when they discovered him conversing with scholars at the temple: "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:49). It seems that the boy Jesus was well aware of his identity and mission.

* footnote on page 241 For instance, in God's promise of a descendant to King David, he said, "I will be his father, and he will be my son." (2 Samuel 7:14). See also Psalms 2:7 and 89:26-28. A few other Jewish teachers spoke of God as "Abba," but this was unusual. See Brad Young, "The Lord's Prayer (2): 'Our Father Who Art in Heaven,'" Jerusalem Perspective 10 (July 1988): 1 - 2.

Jean said:

"Jesus was well aware of His identity and mission," the authors say. Are we? It takes deliberate effort on our part to understand and realize our identity in Christ. We are forgiven. We are redeemed-purchased from the slave market of sin. We are purified and made holy IN Christ. We are no longer our own, but we belong to You, my dear Father. We belong to You.

And our mission. How few of us clarify Your mission for us while on this earth! It took me many years to see and understand that Your mission for my life is that I might know You! That I might love You more dearly, more perfectly each day I live on this planet. That I might become conformed to Your perfect image--a little Christ reflecting You for the world to see Your beauty in me.

God said:

Jesus is in Me, and I am in Him. And He is in you, Little One. You are in Him forever sealed and safe. You are in Him and He is in Me and that means that you are in Me. Safe. Secure. Out of danger of being harmed or even touched by the evil one.

That is who you are, My Little One. That is your identity--eternally.