Arrest and Trial – John 18:1-40
“I am He” – Jesus
“I am not” – Peter
As I read this passage, I was struck by the repetition of these phrases. Twice, in dialogue with the chief priests and officials, Jesus says, “I am He.” And twice, when asked if he was a disciple, Peter replied with the words “I am not.”
In the middle of this story of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest, we find this sub-plot which centers around identity. Jesus knows exactly who He is, and doesn’t mind who knows it. He responds simply and clearly to the question of identity. On the other hand, Peter appears confused as to his identity, and ultimately denies his identity as a follower of Christ.
How do you define your identity? Do you define yourself by a job? your family? your political affiliation? where you live? your hobbies? your church denomination?
There’s nothing wrong with any of those things–but there should be no room for identity confusion in the life of a Christian. First and foremost, we are to be subjects in the Kingdom of God… we are to be disciples of Christ… we are to be friends of God.
Every other defining characteristics and identity should pale in comparison to the identity as a Christian.
Who are you?
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.
I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.
– Harriet E. Buell