At my Tuesday evening Bible study, we’re taking a close look at the first chapter of John. You know, “In the beginning was the Word . . .” Talk about opening with a great hook!
Each week, it seems like one or two verses really jump out at me. This week, it was John 1:19-20 – “Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Messiah.'”
What really struck me here, is that John didn’t tell the priests and Levites who he was. He told them who he wasn’t. Which leads me to think the really important thing here was who John was NOT.
How much of my time do I spend trying to establish who I am? When I go to speak at a church, I want them to know I’m the speaker. At the office, I like for people to know I’m a director, part of the leadership team. At a writer’s conference I want people to know I am a novelist and a published freelancer. Oh, it’s SO important that people know who I am.
But who am I NOT? Well, I’m not the Messiah. I’m so not even remotely the Messiah it’s almost funny. Except that it’s not. Because if I’m not the Messiah, then who am I? Nobody. Or rather, a child of God, just like you and you and you are children of God. Just like the author finishing her 12th bestseller is a child of God. Just like the writer who has yet to put pen to paper is a child of God. None better, none worse. All NOT the Messiah.
And in this world where we all jockey for position so we can proclaim who we are, isn’t that, in the end, a huge relief.