Who Do You Think You Are?
Welcome Back! Today, we’ll be combining the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke as we look at the baptism of Jesus.
So let’s dive in.
(Click here to get a copy of the Gospel Sync document)
The Gospel – Matthew 3:13–17, Mark 1:9–11, Luke 3:21–22
At that time, when all the people were being baptized, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John too. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now. It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness in this way.” Then John permitted Him. After being baptized, as soon as Jesus came up out of the water, and as He was praying, suddenly He saw the heavens were opened, and the Spirit of God descending in bodily form like a dove and resting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!”
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wish someone could just vouch for you and tell everyone who you really are? Maybe you’re starting a new job or meeting people for the first time. Or even the awkward situation where someone is schooling you on something you’re pretty competent in and they don’t have a clue. We have a missionary friend in Egypt who is one of the most strategic thinkers I know. But men are constantly talking down to her because she’s a single female. It really ticks me off! I try to talk her up when I have the opportunity and let others know she’s more competent than you think. It’s always nice to have someone step in and let people know the real you.
Well, believe it or not, the Father did exactly this for His Son, Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is being baptized by John the Baptist and a booming voice comes from Heaven;
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!” (Matthew 3:17)
The Father is proclaiming to everyone who Jesus is and what He thinks about Him. Imagine how Jesus felt when the Father stepped in and vouched for Him. But the Father had also spoken directly to His Son;
“You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22)
No wonder Jesus had so much confidence and authority. His identity was proudly proclaimed to the people and personally affirmed by God Almighty. And just like Jesus, we need to be affirmed in our own identity too. We need to know who we are and be confident in it, even if the world tries to tell us otherwise.
It seems like the entire globe is going through an identity crisis. People are questioning who they are and what they stand for. It’s gotten to a point where people are paralyzed by pronouns for fear of offending someone. As disciple makers it’s our responsibility to help people embrace their God given identity and break the chains that so enslave the people in the lies of the world.
Now we, as disciple makers, could tell people what their identity is ourselves but why be the middleman? Wouldn’t it be better for them to hear from the Father Himself on who He made them to be and what purpose He has given them? That’s why it’s so important to get them in the Word of God as soon as possible for themselves.
As a new believer, I quickly committed 2 Corinthians 5:17 to memory:
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
This verse deeply resonated with me, as I experienced a significant transformation in my life shortly after accepting Christ. I became a “new critter,” as we used to say, and this verse also gave me hope for the future.
I only regret not memorizing the verses that immediately follow.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
Wow! Now that’s some serious identity and purpose! Not only are we new creatures but these verses speak of God’s reconciliation of humanity to Himself through Christ. He’s also given us the ministry of reconciliation. As ambassadors for Christ, we have a purpose to proclaim the good news of reconciliation and urge others to be reconciled to God.
As a disciple maker, I always make sure to emphasize not only our identity in Christ but also our purpose in Him. Through our faith in Christ, we are not only made new but also called to serve as His ambassadors, spreading the message of reconciliation to the world.
Our Action Plan
So how are we going to help disciples discover and live out their identity (and purpose) in Christ? Here’s some suggestions;
- Get in the Word and come up with 20 verses that talk about our identity
- Begin listening to the people we’re discipling and discern what they think their identity and purpose is in Christ.
- Lead them to Scripture that informs them of who they are and their purpose.
So disciples and disciple makers of Jesus embrace your God given identity in Christ, confidently pressing forward into the world with the same assurance that Jesus had. And the next time someone asks, “Who do you think you are?” Let our bold response be, “I’m a Child of God well pleasing in His sight because the Father told me so!”