Jesus’ Identity

I was reflecting on Jesus’ identity. Even when he was a boy of 12, he understood who he was. Mary and Joseph had taken him to the temple (Luke 2) for the festival. When they left they didn’t realize that Jesus wasn’t with them so they began a frantic several day search for him. When he was found later in the temple, Mary confronted him and rebuked him telling him that she and his father had been searching for him. Mary revealed her perspective of Jesus, that he was hers and Joseph’s son. Jesus’ response was different. He reminded Mary that she should have known that he would be in his father’s house. Jesus wasn’t referring to Joseph as his father as Mary had; he referred to the temple, God’s house. Even at the young age of 12, Jesus knew who he was. He wasn’t Joseph’s son, he was God’s son. Throughout his life Jesus identified with heaven primarily while living his life on earth. He is the opposite of how we tend to live. We tend to identify primarily with our earthly families, our national identity and the places where we live and work. That means we are quite often troubled by our circumstances and what we see taking place around us. While Jesus engaged with and had compassion for the people around him, he was not troubled by those things, because he was anchored in heaven not on earth. When Jesus calls us to him, he also changes our identity to be like his, rooted in heaven, where Paul said we are seated with him. Later Paul wrote the Philippians that our citizenship is in heaven from which we await our Savior. The more we identify with heaven, the less we will be troubled by what we see taking place around us, but can address those situations in a similar way to how Jesus addressed his situation. Jesus’ life is instructive to us on how we are fulfill his instruction to be in the world, but not of the world.

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