We tend to identify ourselves in positive terms. But when John the Baptist is asked who he is, he offers the following unusual response:
"And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?' He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, 'I am not the Christ'" (John 1:19-20).
The most important part of John's identity here is what he is NOT: I am not the Christ. Such adamance here--confessed, did not deny, confessed--making it absolutely clear that this is not the Messiah. And in emphasizing this, it heightens expectation that there IS someone coming who fills this role.
How would it benefit me to echo John's testimony? "I am not the Christ."
I am not the Christ. I am the mother. My job is not to save my children, to transform their hearts through the perfect discipline methods and make them follow Jesus. I am simply a tool in His hands to point them to Him, the Savior whom they need more than they need me.
I am not the Christ. I am the wife. My role is not to change my husband, but to respect and encourage and pray for him, trusting that God wants him to grow in Christlikeness even more than I do and knows how best to make that happen.
I am not the Christ. I cannot save myself. I cannot at any moment, before or after regeneration, earn God's favor and acceptance. I cannot change my own heart; I cannot walk in perfect obedience; I cannot make myself holy enough to enter His presence. My hope is not in my willpower, my knowledge, my success.
But I *have* a Savior, thanks be to God! There IS a Christ--Jesus the Christ--and He came for me! He had and deserved God's favor, and bestowed it on me. He sent His Spirit to breathe life into my dead soul and replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh. He walked in perfect obedience, and imputes that righteousness to me. He sits at the right hand of God and invites me to come boldly to the throne of grace. I am NOT the Christ--my hope is in the true Christ, Jesus the One and Only.
[edited repost from the archives]