Leola is still pondering what she learned from the play last week about rising out of her sin. She knows she can change but she is not at all sure what to change first. Obedience is coming little by little and not easily. She begins her reading in Matthew 16 this morning sitting on her ‘have-to-have-it’ couch with the sun shining directly on her. Leola admires the sun and looks down at the Word. The first Words that jump out at her is the wicked and adulteress generation seeks a sign (v4). She raises her head to look out the window and ponders this in her own life. Is she seeking a sign from Jesus for her own use? She doesn’t know the answer to this question! Is her faith contingent on miracles or signs rather than who Jesus is? Is this who she is, a Pharisee? Maybe, but she doesn’t know the answer to this question either!
Reading on she comes across a ‘Jesus question’ she cannot skip over, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (v13) She doesn’t know because she never asks! She wants to know who Jesus is but can it be done? If she knows who He is what significance will the answer have in her life? Leola has never much liked herself because she has always been told she is unlikeable. She never thought much about who she is because her life won’t make much of an impact anyway! Perhaps, she thinks, the real measuring stick IS Jesus and compared to Him she is nothing. Jesus is now pointing this out to her but only putting a small longing in her heart she cannot define. Forty-five years of thinking she is nothing has impacted Leola’s life so much so Jesus will have to do a mighty work to change it around! Leola depended on what others said to define who she is and she didn’t like who they told her she was. She never once thought it could be any other way. What others defined her as must be the truth, right, because they can see her better than she can see herself? As a result she only ever asked the question, “Who do people say I am?” but never, until now, will she ask, “Who am I?” and expect to learn the answer!
Many of us go through an identity crisis with or without Jesus. The spectacular advantage of following Jesus is His way of teaching us ‘who we are’ with Him in our life compared to who we were without Him. He created both of us and He knows how to bridge the gap. The difference can be staggering in some cases yet minor in others. If this is true than how do we respond to this revelation? We must be trained by Elohim to put less emphasis on who others say we are and more on who He says we are. He has gifted us differently than anyone else therefore we are created to walk in those gifts for His purpose. I cannot tell you enough about how different we are from others therefore we cannot compare ourselves to anyone we can only compare ourselves to Jesus. Who we are is who He says we are! To discern who we are we must ask, “Who do we say He is?” The answer to that question forms who we are!
Over the years Jesus has changed me so significantly I think it is noticeable yet many people have missed it. I wonder why? The face I wear in public to show everyone ‘life is great’ but behind it the cracks are numerous. My family sees the changes because they are close to me but the only person who sees every change is Elohim. He knows me better than anyone else, He sees me! Him and I are the only ones who know the extent of the transformation in me and we are the only ones who know who I am. Never will I allow another to define who I am. Others define who we are based on their history not ours. They see us through the vision of their own life and what they want from us! The whole answer cannot come from any other person, it can only come from Jesus!
The Whole Answer
Still sitting in the window, the sun making her red hair appear gold, Leola closes her eyes to ask Jesus the most significant question of her life, “Do You see me?” She waits but there is no answer! The answer to this question, many years later, will significantly change her life but for now there is another teaching for her! She lowers her head to read on. But who do you say that I am? (v15) A good question she is not sure she can answer! Again she looks out the window to ponder this question. Who is Jesus and how important is knowing who He is? The questions Jesus asks His disciples make them first think and then answer, if they can. They always elicit the truth from their soul but this time the answer came from the Spirit because they couldn’t possibly know the answer without Him. Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (v16) When the Spirit revealed who Jesus is to Peter and he confesses it with his mouth Jesus, in turn, tells Peter who he was. Leola knows Peter does become the rock but not without rolling of a cliff a time or two first (Read Acts). She prays, “Lord, You are the Son of the Living God! Please tell me who I am?” Leola’s own voice said within her, “Find Me and you will find you, for in Me is you!” After ten years of studying Scripture to find out who Jesus is Leola can testify, indeed she is finally discovering the new Leola Elohim has created just for her! Bridging the gap has been a process she could only do with guidance of the Holy Spirit. Instead of looking at herself through the eyes of people she now sees herself through the eyes of the Father. The significance of having this information for Leola leads her to actually like herself! A first in her life!
Others vision of us can cause untold damage to our soul but who we are can be changed! Not liking ourselves leaves us susceptible to false teachers who prey on our insecurities, the devil who plants lies about who we are and consequently a rebellion against Elohim. Who we are does not depend on our work, our family, our spouse or anything else outside of Jesus. It is extremely important for us to know who He is because within Him is the truth of us! Who do YOU say He is? Do not delay in discovering who Jesus is because He IS the whole answer to the question ‘Who am I?’
This week’s meditation verses: Matthew 16