top of page

Several Identities of Jesus

Today I will talk about persons with several identities…  And I will explain how Jesus had several identities.

 

Jesus said, I am the Good Shepherd.  I am the True Vine.  I am the Bread of Life.  I am the Light of the World and so much more.  But first I will look at a person from the Old Testament who had several identities.

 

The prophet Amos was not always a prophet.  He was born on a farm 770 years before Jesus was born and his parents taught him how to farm and they gave him the farm before they died.  One day God called Amos to be a prophet.  Amos really liked farming and he did not want to be a prophet.  He said to God, “I think you should call someone else.  I never went to school.  I’m not prepared for this task.  Go call someone who is better qualified.”  But the POWER of God’s call was so great that he said YES to that call.

 

Amos was living in the Southern Kingdom and God called him to go to the Northern Kingdom and call the leaders to repent.  Amos said to the kings and lords and dukes, “You are overtaxing the poor and forcing them into slavery when they can’t pay.  Repent and turn away from your sin.”  But they refused to repent.  They said to Amos, “We don’t have to listen to a farmer from the Southern Kingdom.”  In the end they paid the price for not listening.  They were captured by the Assyrians and forced into slavery themselves.

 

In today’s gospel, Jesus reveals one of his several identities when he says, “I am the vine and you are the branches.”  There are two kinds of branches.  The first is connected to the vine and it is alive because it has sap from the vine flowing into it.  The second kind of branch is disconnected from the vine and it is dying because it does not have sap flowing into it and feeding it.  In much the same way, we are spiritually alive if we are connected to Jesus and we are spiritually dead if we are disconnected from Jesus.  Jesus said in Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel: If you are not connected to me you have no life in you.

 

So how do we stay connected to Jesus?  By saying our morning prayers before we turn to Facebook, and social media and our email messages.  We stay connected to Jesus by reading from the Bible every day.  Saint Augustine said, “Jesus is speaking to us in the words of the Bible.”  We stay connected to Jesus by receiving communion frequently.  His Bread of Life fills us with his divine life when it becomes a part of who we are.

 

Jesus also said to his disciples that he is the servant Messiah.  He said to his disciples, “I came to serve, not to be served.”  Then he called them to go forth and do the same.  In calling them to discipleship, Jesus is also calling us to discipleship.  That means that we are called to serve.  We are called to serve people in need; namely people who are looking for food and shelter and medical care.  But it also means serving those who are poor because they go through life without love.

 

For example, children who have been abandoned by their parents and teenagers who have been pushed aside by their friends and adults who have been ostracized by people who are filled with bigotry and prejudice.  We are called to serve people who are hurting in many different ways.

 

Jesus was the servant Messiah; but he was also the suffering Messiah.  He suffered for three years before he was nailed to the cross on Good Friday.  Time after time, He suffered rejection because some people did not like his message.  When he told them to love their enemies, they tried to stone him.  When he told them that Samaritans are good people, they tried to throw him over the cliff.

 

Today we see ourselves as being the messianic people and that means that we take on some suffering when we answer the call to discipleship.  Sometimes people don’t like us when we welcome certain people into our circle of friendship.  And they call us derogatory names when we defend the basic human rights of children and persons with handicaps and persons with a terminal illness.  In fact, human rights is where the action is today.  Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have given speech after speech on the topic of human rights.  They call us to promote basic human rights without measuring how much opposition or verbal abuse we will receive.

 

Let’s take a few moments now to reflect upon the multiple identities of Jesus and those who follow him.   He is the vine and we are the branches and prayer helps us to stay connected to him.

 

We see that Jesus is the Messiah and we are called to be his messianic people.  We are called to be the eyes and ears and arms and legs of his messiahship in today’s world.  He is a servant messiah and a suffering messiah.  Thus, we bring his messiahship into the world when we serve people in need and when we suffer for the sake of the gospel.

 

We now ask God to strengthen us for our ministry of discipleship.

Recent Posts

See All

Creation, Sacrifice and Joy.

Since today is Trinity Sunday I wish to bring forward three stories to honor the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  I begin with God the Father. On October 8, 2004 the Nobel Peace prize was awarded

The Color for Pentecost is Red!

The color for Pentecost is red and we see splashes of red throughout the church today.  Red represents the tongues of fire at the church’s first Pentecost.  I think that we can all agree that fire is

A Story of Two Mothers

I will begin with two stories about mothers. The first story comes to us from the Book of Exodus, Chapter Two.  It took place in Egypt when the Pharaoh was forcing the Hebrews to work as slaves.  As t

Comments


bottom of page