Know Who You Are, Part 1
John 13:1-5 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended…Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
This is one of most profound passages in Scripture in terms of knowing who we are, and how self-identity affects serving. Here is Jesus at His highest moment of self-awareness: He knows where He’s come from (heaven), He knows what is going on in His life (His imminent suffering and death), He knows where He is going (heaven, again), and He knows His future position of glory and what He would ultimately possess. No identity crisis here. The self-awareness He possessed at age 12 and demonstrated at the temple in Jerusalem has now reached a peak. He is fully aware of who He is and what He has.
What does He do with this self-knowledge? Start a business? Fight a great battle? Get revenge on those who opposed Him? No, He serves. He takes the job of the most menial servant in a house—washing feet. And He washes the feet not of earthly kings and rulers, but of those under His authority, in effect, those who should be washing His feet.
What is the result of your knowing who you are? Is it feeling better about yourself? Or is it greater love for others? Does greater self-awareness bring you closer to others, or does it make you pull back and make you focus more on yourself?
Jesus shows us how true self-awareness expresses itself. It serves. If Jesus at the height of His own self-understanding is led to serving, how much more should we be.
Prayer: Lord, deliver me from a self-awareness that causes me to become more self-centered. Let me find myself in You and hear the call to serve others.
Mark, this question has increasingly been in my thoughts the past few years, of what our “self-identity” as a Christian means and entails.
I look forward to this series with great anticipation !
Also linked to your series “Authority” for my first 2018 blog. There was no more important teaching I read all of last year, and I’d like to see it get whatever additional exposure I can provide.
Blessing in this new year, Steve
Blessings to you, too, Steve! Have a grace-filled year full of divine appointments!