In WHO AM I? , a 1998 movie, Jackie Chan wakes up in an African village after an accident only to discover he has no idea who he is.
When asked for his name by the natives, he responds by asking himself, "Who Am I?" So the natives called him by this strange name, "Who Am I?"
In our quiet moments, even without post-traumatic amnesia as in Chan’s case, we may be asking ourselves this same question, "Who Am I?"
This is not only a question asked by the traumatised or spiritually lost. It is also a most significant question we need to pose to ourselves.
First, this question leads us in a quest to better understand the meaning of life. When we ask ourselves, "Who Am I?" we are indirectly asking ourselves these questions: Am I a product of the creation by God? Or am I a product of chance or evolution? Why did I come into this world? Besides survival, is there a deeper reason – raison d'etre – why I should brave the traffic almost every day to go to work? If life is so transient, why do we need to live in a responsible manner? Why not eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die?
Second, this question is relevant to believers – those who have resolved to some extent those metaphysical questions above – because it helps them understand their calling. In this regard, we will not make much headway unless we acknowledge that God’s wisdom is the best and far superior to our wisdom:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
For God’s destiny for our lives had already been determined even while we were in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5).
He is not only willing but able to lead and guide us if we trust in Him:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you” (Psalm 32:8-9).
Before Peter received his calling to serve God, he first needed a supernatural revelation that Jesus is God (Matthew 16: 13-19):
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock * I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Only an intimate relationship with God grants us a supernatural revelation of His reality. Thereupon God is able to speak to us, revealing His calling for our lives.
Before we get an answer for the question "Who am I?", we need to know who Jesus is. This means we must be able to answer with conviction the question posed by Jesus: “Who do you say I am?”
We know God’s calling primarily through revelation and not so much from our own incessant “inner chatter” or other people’s opinion – though the latter may give some helpful pointers.
* What is this rock?
It is the confession of faith by believers, not a person.
The true Rock and foundation of the Church is Christ Himself.
The Church rests upon this Rock by her confession of faith.
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