Duration 3 Weeks
When you are asked who you are, how do you respond? Do you respond with a job? “I’m a doctor or a banker or a salesman.” Perhaps your identity is found in a relationship. “I’m a parent or a spouse or a grandparent.” Or maybe you identify with a group with whom you belong. “I’m a Tar Heel or a Minnesotan or a gamer.” Who are you? It can be a complex answer when the world asks that question. What about when God asks you that question, “Who are you?”
In Matthew 16, Jesus poses a question that all of us must answer at some point, either on this side or the other side of Paradise: “Who do you say that I am?” Not your parents or your pastor or your friends, but you. Who do you say that Jesus is? This is especially true today as we honor our high school graduates. Peter gives his answer and he is right… and wrong at the same time. And then Jesus tells Peter who he is… the Rock. He knows who he is. Or does he? That Rock soon begins to crumble.
Matthew 16:13-20 (NIV); Isaiah 43:1-3a (NRSVUE)
Who is Lydia? By profession, she is a wealthy merchant. By personality, she is a person of hospitality. By faith, she is a believer. By history, she is the first person baptized in Europe. All of those identities come together into a single person who is the first one to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ. That’s who she is.
Matthew 20:20-28 (NRSV); Acts 16:13-15 (NRSV)
Jethro is an unsung hero, a wealthy shepherd, and the father-in-law of Moses. On this Father’s Day, we remember not only our fathers, but those who played that role in our lives giving advice, offering support and providing guidance. Who is Jethro? He is the man behind the greatness of Moses.
Exodus 18:1, 9-11, 13-24 (NIV); Luke 15:11-24 (NRSV)