From an early age Jesus knew who He was. He was only 12 when Joseph and Mary questioned His whereabouts and He simply said, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49).

Shortly after His baptism Jesus was confronted by the devil, who cast doubt on His divine identity with the challenge, “If you are the Son of God…” (Luke 4:3, 9).

Sometime later, when Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, those familiar with Him and His family tried to impose their own identity on Christ.

“Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not His mother called Mary? and His brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?” (Matthew 13:55).

Then there were the religious leaders who attempted again and again to define this miracle-working, gospel-preaching, tradition-breaking Teacher in a way that would destroy His God-identity.

…those familiar with Him and His family tried to impose their own identity on Christ.

“But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow does not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (Matthew 12:24).

Unfortunately, there were even times when Christ’s own disciples tried to undermine His God-identity. Peter told Jesus that His God-identity did not include going to the cross to take the penalty of the world’s sins. As Jesus explained to His disciples this foundational gospel truth, “Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’ But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men’” (Matthew 16:22, 23).

All through His life, Christ’s God-identity was attacked, yet He knew exactly who He was. Do you know who you are? The reason why Jesus rebuked Peter so strongly is because His God-identity as our sin bearer has given you a new identity. In Christ, you are a child of God, beloved, one in whom God is well pleased (see Matthew 3:17). Jesus lived and died for you. He refused to compromise His God-identity so that you could live your God-identity as a child of the king. Christ’s God-identity was lived so that your God-identity could be too. Amen.

James Rafferty

James has spent more than 30 years preaching the gospel around the world in revival seminars and evangelistic meetings. He and his wife Risë have two adult children, Jeiel and Kierra.