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I have a passport issued by the government of the United States of America. It is proof of my identity. But it is useless if I never use it. I must make a claim to my identity and then show the passport as proof of my claim. It is not the only way I can assert a claim to my identity. I can also use my driver’s license or birth certificate. When accessing secure websites, I can provide a username as my claimed identity. The password, and any multifactor identification steps are proof of the claim.
In ancient Judea, passports, births certificates, usernames and passwords were not issued. But people still made claims about their identity. So when we seek to understand who Jesus truly is, we should look at the claims he made. One such claim is in John 4:25-26, ‘The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”’ (NIV 1984)
The woman at the well was looking for the Messiah. The word in Greek is “Christ.” It refers to the prophesied king of the Jews who would restore their relationship to God and established an everlasting kingdom. Notice Jesus claimed this title. His preaching also proclaimed the coming kingdom of God. Make no mistake, Jesus clearly claimed to be the Messiah. That is part of his identity.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.