Because He Is (October 5, 2012)

…Opening To…

I am a flower quickly fading (here today and gone tomorrow)
A wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I’m calling; Lord, you catch me when I’m falling,
And you’ve told me who I am: I am yours. (Casting Crowns)

…Listening In…

The woman put down her water jar and went into the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who has told me everything I’ve done! Could this man be the Christ?” They left the city and were on their way to see Jesus. (John 4:28-30; context)

…Filling Up…

The first “I am” statement comes at the end of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. Remember us talking about that conversation way back on Monday? Yes? Good! So, in the chapter right before the one featuring the Samaritan woman, we find the most famous verse in the whole Bible. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life” (3:16). God gave us Jesus. Therefore, Jesus is the gift God has given to the world.

So when Jesus says, “I Am—the one who speaks to you,” Jesus gives the woman the gift of his identity, his divine identity. She drops her bucket, races back to town, and tells the people: “Come and see a man who has told me everything I’ve done!” At first glance, this seems a vast exaggeration, since the only thing Jesus told her she had done was marry five different guys. Some scholars attribute this statement to mere excited exaggeration. However, I think those scholars miss one consequence of Jesus’ “I Am” statement.

It is in Jesus’ revelation of his own identity (when he says “I Am”) that the woman discovers her own identity. She now knows Jesus, who is the gift of God. And in knowing Jesus, she knows herself. Saying that he told her everything she had ever done is her way of saying that she is known, finally known. Jesus knows her and now she knows Jesus, so she can know herself.

When Jesus reveals his divine identity, he reveals my identity, for my true identity rests in him. Indeed, I am because he is.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the source of light and life; you have made me in your image and put within me the spark of your creativity. Help me display your image and likeness. Knit my identity into yours and give me the strength to show that identity to everyone I meet. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, knowing that you are the foundation of all creation. I exist because you have spoken and loved me into existence.

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