John is a book of the Bible that was written by the apostle of that name. In John 1, he establishes that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, who existed before time began and who created all things. He further establishes that Jesus is also fully human and lived here on earth among us.
John then recounts the testimony of John the Baptist with regard to who Jesus is. John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jesus, and one day as John the Baptist is baptizing people, he sees Jesus coming towards him. He then proclaims to the people gathered there that Jesus is the Son of God.
The identity of Jesus is the foundation for all that is to come in the book of John. Without understanding who Jesus is, it is not possible to understand his actions and his words.
What I find fascinating about John 1 is that Jesus so clearly understands the importance of the identities of others. As He meets Simon Peter, Jesus tells him, “You are Simon, the son of John – but you will be called Cephas” (which means Peter). (John 1:42, NLT) The footnote in my Bible indicates that Cephas and Peter both mean “rock”. Simon has received more than a new name – he has received his true identity. This prepares Simon Peter for what is ahead for him; it is a foreshadowing of what is to come.
Jesus also tells Nathanael who he is when he meets him in verse 47. Jesus says, “Here comes an honest man – a true son of Israel.” (NLT) Amazed, Nathanael responds in verse 49, “Teacher, you are the Son of God – the King of Israel!” There is something about being known by Jesus which brings out a response of faith from Nathanael’s heart and a desire to proclaim who Jesus is.
I remember a time when Jesus told me who I am. He proclaimed that I am “Chosen”. Having my Creator reveal my identity to me totally shifted my understanding of who I am. Has He revealed your identity to you?