All of us are asked all the time "Who are you?" and each of us probably have a number of different answers, depending on the situation: mother, father, husband, wife, partner, lover, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, parishioner, choir member, priest. I wonder how many of us think to answer "Christian" or "Episcopalian" or whatever denomination it is we worship God through.
Jesus sends a clear message today about how we should identify ourselves. He clearly states who he is, which deeply offends the Jewish leaders with whom he has been debating in the synagogue. Jesus says Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am." Jesus is referring to that great reading in Exodus, where God speaks to Moses from the burning bush where God provides a name to Moses saying "I AM" and "I AM WHO I AM". This would have been very clear to those individuals to whom Jesus was speaking and was probably shocking for them to hear. Jesus was clearly stating that he is God.
It takes a lot of guts today to identify ourselves as followers of Jesus. The rewards are worth the price.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.