“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered. “Before Abraham was born, I am!” John 8:58
When we introduce ourselves we often say, “I am ______” and give our name. We may also use descriptors to give more detail and better identify ourselves. I am a writer, a carpenter, a doctor, a student. I am the child of ______ or sister of______. But how does the Son of God identify Himself? We have already seen that He was there at the beginning of time and even though He is the Son of God He also IS God. So How does God identify Himself? Two simple words—I AM.
The Pharisees and other religious leaders of Jesus’ day loved their traditions. They followed the laws of Moses strictly, and sincerely believed this kept them from sinning and made them better than anyone else. They practiced their traditions with grand gestures out in the open for all to see. Jesus was the greatest leader of them all and yet he didn’t need to flaunt it or prove it to anyone. I think this was one of the reasons the leaders of Jesus’ day didn’t listen when they were told of His birth and didn’t recognize Jesus when He walked among them.
I think Jesus wanted people to understand that He came to save every person from their sins and to give the gift of the Holy Spirit to anyone who asked. If He had come as a powerful leader or earthly king He would have been untouchable by the very people Jesus’ loved, needed Him and would believe He is the Son of God.
Jesus was so secure in His identity and the mission given by His Father that He was born to a poor couple in a foreign land, surrounded by animals in a stable. The angels could have announced His birth to anyone but God chose the shepherds. They were smelly and dirty and looked down upon by many people, yet they were the ones God chose.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry He walked among those shunned by others. He concentrated on reaching the lost and hurting, showing His love for them and the grace offered by God. Jesus didn’t need approval or promotion from leaders of the church. He was God’s Son, “I Am” – there from the beginning of time.
We, like Jesus can be secure in who we are if we have asked Him to forgives our sins and lead our lives. We don’t have to look to the fads and popular leaders of our day to be good enough or liked by others. We are children of the King – heirs to the kingdom of I Am—Jesus Christ. We can live in the security of this great truth no matter what the world around may say.
Let’s try to let Jesus’ example lead us this Christmas. May we not get caught up in rituals and fads but be looking for those who need the love of Jesus, the I Am. Let’s introduce ourselves to them, and introduce them to the Christ child.