by Dorette Saunders
It is amazing the stories the Bible tells. These narratives are true and bear witness to who God is and his relationship to his people. When we share stories, they often help us find our roots, and give us a sense of purpose and identity.
But we are more than just our ethnic roots. We are more than where our strain of DNA hailed from, or our language pattern, or even those who procreated us. We are more…much more!
Let’s lean in to Jesus as he reads the Scriptures in his local synagogue during a worship service. He is given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, and Jesus reads the following passage:
“The Lord’s Spirit
has come to me,
because he has chosen me
to tell the good news
to the poor.
The Lord has sent me
to announce freedom
to give sight to the blind,
to free everyone
and to say, ‘This is the year
the Lord has chosen.’”
(Luke 4:18, 19, CEV).
Jesus’ eloquence, poise, authority, and confidence blew his audience away. You could hear the chatter and the murmuring. “Hey, isn’t this Joseph the carpenter’s son? I thought he’d become Joe’s apprentice. I don’t recall him ever going to yeshiva. Who taught him to speak like that? This is amazing!”
By linking Jesus with Joseph, the church folks were limiting him to being a mere workman with a hammer, a chisel, and a saw. But he was more than that. He was God’s Son.
Then to everyone’s surprise, as Jesus continues his discourse with them, he says, “What you have just heard me read has come true today” (v. 21).
In essence, Jesus was saying that Isaiah’s prophecy that the Messiah would come from the lineage of David was now fulfilled in him. God’s Spirit would empower him to offer salvation, heal the sick, and bring the Good News of God’s kingdom.
Jesus’ roots were planted in God, and in God’s Word. Jesus knew his true roots—he was indeed the Messiah! But the people couldn’t grasp it. They couldn’t look past what they knew of him to take hold of the promise that God had laid out for them. And as the service went on, they became angry. Angry at the truth he spoke.
And so it is with us. We anger people when we don’t fit into the pre-formed molds they have prepared for us. Yet, we are more than the sum of our parts. We come in different shapes and colors, with differing belief systems and opinions. But, at the root of it all, no matter how we see ourselves, or how others see us, we are God’s workmanship. We are God’s children. We have been formed in God’s image. His copyright is there…even if we chose not to believe in our Creator.
While the world may define you by your outward trappings: Uber driver, babysitter, postal worker, retiree, handicapped, unemployed, take time to know who you are, and where your true roots lie.
Remind yourself daily that you are a son or daughter of the King of kings. You are chosen (1 Peter 2:9). You are a jewel in his crown (Isaiah 62:3). You have been made in God’s likeness (Genesis 1:26). Crafted with great care (Psalm 139:14), and blessed and favored to receive the gifts of God’s bounty (2 Peter 1:3).
Then, do as the Scriptures tell us:
“Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught” (Colossians 2:7, CEV).
PRAYER: God, you who made us in your image, help us to recognize our true roots. Plant, Lord, your seed of righteousness in us, and let us water it with your Word so we may grow strong. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.