From Pastor Mark
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Mark 1:17
The invitation (and command) of Jesus to the four fishermen in Mark 1 is so simple: Follow me. And yet, these words will profoundly change the lives of those disciples and everyone else who accepts Jesus’ call. And while there are a staggering number of questions that Jesus leaves unanswered when he calls us, he doesn’t leave us in the dark. More important than knowing where we will follow is knowing who we follow.
Identity IN Christ
At Grace, we emphasize the importance of a Christian knowing their identity IN Christ. When you know you are unconditionally loved, you are able to love others unconditionally. When you know that you are a child of God and that God’s pleasure rests on you, you are able to find a healthy sense of security and significance. Knowing your identity in Christ is vital to living the Christian life.
Identity OF Christ
But, just as important as knowing your identity IN Christ is knowing the identity OF Christ. I read a great article recently talking about this very thing. You can read that here. This is exactly what we have been discovering in Mark’s gospel. Mark wants us to know the real Jesus. And he doesn’t beat around the bush. Even in just the first chapter of Mark, we discover several fundamental truths about the identity of Jesus. Mark’s point is that in knowing the identity of Jesus, we will be convinced to stop following other things so we can follow Jesus.
Identity of Jesus in Mark 1
Here are several truths that Mark has already shared with us as it relates to the identity of Jesus:
- Jesus is the Messiah (Mark 1:1). He is the fulfillment of every Old Testament promise regarding the Messiah. He is uniquely equipped to rescue and redeem his people.
- Jesus is Yahweh (Mark 1:3). Yahweh is the personal name of God in the Old Testament. It represents his covenant-keeping nature. God makes promises and keeps promises. He never fails in his follow-through. Even when his people fail, he will never fail. Jesus is the embodiment of the God of Israel.
- Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 1:1). This means Jesus is divine. Yes, he is fully human, just like you and me. But, unlike you and me, Jesus is the perfect human. Jesus is fully God, which enables him to speak God’s words and reveal God’s character.
- Jesus is the King (Mark 1:15). Jesus announces that with his arrival, the kingdom of God is at hand. This is, in essence, a declaration of his kingship. And when Jesus performs miracles, he further confirms that his message is true. Jesus is the King who ushers in the kingdom of God both spiritually (now) and physically (later).
Why does the identity of Jesus matter?
The identity of Jesus matters more than you can fathom. If you are not convinced that Jesus is who he says he is, you will never trust him enough to follow. If you do not believe Jesus is Yahweh, you will likely struggle with insecurity because you won’t know if Jesus always keeps his promises. If you do not understand Jesus is the King, you will think that Jesus can just be your “co-pilot” rather than your Master. Do you see it? The more you know the identity of Jesus, the more you will be amazed by him and drawn to him. And the more you will trust and obey him. It’s only by knowing the identity of Jesus that you will be able to repent and believe the gospel.