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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus

Don Stewart :: Was Jesus Always Confident of His Identity?

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Was Jesus Always Confident of His Identity?

What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus – Question 40

The Bible testifies that Jesus Christ is the eternal God who became a human being in order to sacrifice His life for the sins of the world. This brings up certain questions. Was this something He was always aware of? Was there ever a time Jesus doubted His calling? Or, could it be possible that He was overwhelmed by all the attention He received and allowed Himself to be taken for someone He was not? What does the evidence say?

1. He Was Always Confident of His Identity

The Bible is clear that Jesus was always confident of who He was, and why He had come to earth. From our first glimpse of Him, until the end of His life, we find Jesus confident of both His Person and His message. The evidence is as follows.

2. Jesus at Age Twelve – He Was Doing the Work of the Father

The first encounter we have of Him, apart from the birth record, is at age twelve. Luke records the following:

Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When the days of the feast were over and they set off home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was somewhere in the party, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere. It happened that, three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.” He replied, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:41-49)

From this account we see that at the age of twelve Jesus knew of His identity. He told His mother Mary that He was about His Father’s business. He reminded Mary who His real Father was. It was not Joseph but rather God the Father.

As to exactly when and how He realized His identity we are not told. Scripture is silent on this matter. The only thing we can say for certain is that He did know His identity by the age of twelve. Apart from this it is only futile speculation.

3. Jesus Was Always Confident of His Identity during His Public Ministry

During Jesus’ public ministry, His confidence in His calling was sure. The Lord told the religious rulers exactly where He came from. John wrote,

He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.” (John 8:23 NRSV)

Jesus clearly recognized His origin. He claimed to come from heaven above.

4. Jesus Was Confident of His Identity at the Garden of Gethsemane

If there ever were a time when one would expect Jesus Christ to have doubts about who He was, it would have been during His betrayal and death. But in the face of this great adversity, He never denied who He was or the calling that He had.

In the Garden of Gethsemane He was still confident of His identity as God’s Son. Luke records Jesus’ prayer:

Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup of suffering away from me. However, your will must be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:41, 42 God’s Word)

Jesus knew what He was about to face and He faced it with total trust in God the Father.

5. He Was Confident of Who He Was at His Trial

At His trial, Jesus confessed to being the Christ. We read about the response of Jesus to the question of the High Priest:

But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God that you tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus replied, “Yes, it is as you say. And in the future you will see me, the Son of Man, sitting at God’s right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:63, 64 NLT)

Jesus realized that this confession would lead to His eventual death. If Jesus had any doubts about His calling, the trial was Jesus’ chance to set the record straight. Yet Jesus made it clear that He believed Himself to be the Christ.

6. He Was Confident While on the Cross

Even when He was dying, Jesus was aware of His identity. He forgave the sins of a robber that was dying next to Him. Luke records,

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42, 43 NLT)

Jesus was confident that He, along with this criminal, would be in paradise upon death.

Therefore everything that we know about Jesus, from His early years through His death on the cross, tells us that He was always confident about His identity. He knew exactly who He was and why He had come to this earth. He was the Lamb of God who would die for the sins of the world. There was never any doubt in His mind.

Summary – Question 40
Was Jesus Always Confident of His Identity?

As we study the four gospels we find that Jesus Christ was always fully aware of His identity. From the age twelve, until His death on Calvary’s cross we find that Jesus was at all times certain of who He was and why He was here upon the earth. Furthermore, He never once questioned His calling, or wavered on who He was. The evidence is as follows.

The first recorded words of Jesus are from an incident He was twelve years of age. He became separated from His parents in the city of Jerusalem.

When they found Him three days later at the temple the youthful Jesus was asking questions and giving answers which confounded the religious experts. Jesus then explained to Mary and Joseph that He had to be about His Father’s business. This was not referring to Joseph, but rather to God the Father. Jesus was doing His work. Thus, we discover that Jesus was aware of His calling at this early age.

This awareness continued throughout His life. During His public ministry Jesus taught that He was from heaven above. He was aware of His divine origin. This is something which He consistently taught.

At the Garden of Gethsemane, when He knew He was about to die, Jesus acknowledged His identity as well as His mission. At His trial as well as upon the cross, the Bible also says that Jesus never wavered in acknowledging who He was or why He had come to this earth.

As to when He became certain of who He was the Bible does not tell us. What we can be certain of is from the age of twelve through the time of His death, Jesus was confident of His identity as God the Son.

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