positive ID

positive ID


John 1:14-32
Are you the Prophet we are expecting? (John 1:21).


Read Psalm 2:7 with Matthew 3:17. Then read Isaiah 53:12 with Mark 15:27-28 to see a few ways Old Testament prophecy confirmed Jesus’ identity.


What’s at stake when people are unclear about who Jesus really is? How can a person’s lifestyle reflect the truth about Christ?

I was pushing my daughter’s pink stroller up and down the aisles of an auto-parts store when my toddler excitedly began pointing straight ahead at a fellow customer who looked just like the pictures of Jesus in her illustrated Bible. She called out to the man, using the Lord’s name. Despite her innocence and joy, the man appeared to be irked by my daughter’s mistake about his identity.

Jesus’ identity was deeply interesting to the Jewish leaders of His day. They were so eager to get a positive ID that they sent some temple workers to visit John the Baptist and to scope out the situation. The go-betweens pelted him with questions, perhaps the most important being, “Are you the Prophet we are expecting?” (John 1:21). Of course, John set them straight by quoting the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting . . . ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming’” (John 1:23). In other words, I’m not the guy you’re looking for. They questioned him further, and he said of Jesus: “I’m not even worthy to . . . untie the straps of His sandal” (John 1:27).

Despite this, John himself had questions about Jesus’ identity. He knew a lot about his Lord (John 1:15-18), but he couldn’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah (John 1:31). When the Holy Spirit descended and rested on Jesus (John 1:33-34), John finally identified the hands that would bear nail scars, the eyes that would weep for Lazarus, and the body that would be crucified. As a witness for Jesus, John pointed others to the person of Christ.

Today, we’re Jesus’ witnesses or—as Paul put it—“ambassadors” for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). So, are we helping people to look past popular—yet incorrect—ideas about who Jesus is? Do our lives proclaim His grace, power, and love? Are we doing all we can to help other people recognize Him?

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Titus 3:1-11

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3 Responses to “positive ID”

  1. dossk says:

    Dear Jennifer
    In Malaysia, we were heading for the airport. My wife was sharing the gospel to the taxi driver. When my wife declared that Jesus was soon coming back, the Taxi driver blurted out, YES, he said, on next Friday. We were puzzled. He emphatically said again, next Friday. Then we found out that he was referring to my Australian friend [believer], who traveled in the same taxi, told him that next Friday, he would require the taxi again. For the taxi driver, he looked like Jesus and talked like Jesus.
    What a great identity for Jesus.

  2. winn collier says:

    I’ve always taken some comfort from John’s doubt and confusion. I mean, if John was confused…

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