Finding Your Identity

Simon, son of Jonah thought he was a fisherman. Like Andrew, his brother that is what he was told. He was expected to follow the way of life his family had known for generations. His forefathers raised the sails and cast the nets to make their livings. He grew up in Bethsaida and lived in Capernaum, two cities located near the Sea of Galilee. He partnered with cousins James and John, the sons of his uncle Zebedee. This trade marked his body and formed his physique. Hauling nets and cleaning fish made his hands rough and his back and shoulders broad. For years, six days each week he cast his nets into the sea dragging them into his boat. He lived in a family of fisherman in a culture and society dominated and identified by two things, fishing and their love for the God of Israel. Simon, son of Jonah was not a fisherman, at least not the kind society told him he was. He was a world changer, a foundational pillar of a holy new society with whom the Lord Jesus would construct a spiritual society that would change the entire course of human history. One of the foundations of the new Jerusalem would bear his name. He would call into awesome destiny the nations of the earth and help establish a whole new order of people. His life would be marked by the life of Jesus of Nazareth and he would die a similar cruel and painful death. How could catching fish ever compare to his true calling?

Jesus gave him a new and different name, Cephas, meaning rock or stone. We know him as Peter, one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Why did Jesus give him that name? Because, until he met Jesus, Simon, son of Jonah did not know who he was. None of us do until we know who Jesus is and until He tells us who we are! It's the responsibility and privilege of parents to name their children but only heaven can accurately identify you. Family and friends, society and culture, habit and relational imposition all try to 'name' us, but only heaven can do so accurately.

Much of life involves the discovery and process of realizing who He says we are. Even after meeting Jesus and having Him give him a new name Peter wavered and failed. That is not unusual. Each of us must learn how to walk in what He shows us. We never stop needing heavens input.

Who you are and what you are called to do are closely connected, but they are two different things. They must be separate in our minds. You are not your assignment, but until you know who you are you are not likely to know what you have been assigned to do. Until you know who you are you will be tempted with identity crises whenever your assignment changes, and change it will from season to season.

Who are you? Let Jesus tell you and let Him walk you through it to the end. You are much more than you think you are.