IT IS I
by Babangida Joseph
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Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid ( Mark 6:50b).
Jesus said to His disciples, 'It is I'. That should be reassuring and encouraging enough. Can you imagine thieves trying to break into your front door and suddenly your drunk neighbour staggered in through your kitchen door saying to you 'do not be afraid it is I?' You wouldn't consider him serious. I think they call that Dutch courage. Contrast that with another of your neighbour who happen to be a war veteran with a record of being one of the best snipers ever trained coming through your kitchen door with an assault rifle. His very presence brings in an immediate relieve. He didn't have to say anything just his presence would suffice.
In effect that was what Jesus was saying to His disciples. It is I, not another. It is I; the same one you know. He hasn't changed. The bible says concerning Him: Jesus christ the same yesterday, today and forever. There is no shadow of turning with Him. He changes not. When the prodigal son decided to go back home, his father could barely recognize him. When the friends of Job visited him, because of the enormity of his calamity, they hardly recognized him. So much disfigured was he that they were stunned into silence that lasted seven days! Naomi after her stay in Moab decided to go back to Bethlehem. It made the people ask is that really her?
But when Jesus says it is I he saying in effect: I am the very same one whom with just a touch of faith brought to an abrupt end an incurable disease that has defied medical science for 12 years. It is I who appeared to Moses as a burning bush that was not consumed. It is I. The same one who was in the fiery furnace with Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego thus making Nebuchadnezzer's fire of none effect. It is I. The same I capable of asking twelve legions of angels to fight my battles. It is I. The same I who called Lazarus from dead back to life. It is I, not another, who was made manifest to destroy all the works of the evil one. It is I who was and is and is to come. It is I. The Father announced, 'this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.' (And because He has pleased the Father everything has been placed in His hands).
His reassurance to His disciples was based on who they have known Him to be at that point. If Jesus is saying to you it is I, do not be afraid, your lack of fear would be proportional to how much you know and His capability to save. Just like the war veteran and the drunk I mentioned, our confidence rises or falls depending on who is approaching our homes or the troubled boat we are travelling on. Who is this Jesus that is saying it is I? He is the same one who took a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish and multiplied it until thousands were fed to satisfaction. It is I who helped Peter catch a multitude of fish that the net began to break.
It is I by whose stripes you were healed. It is I who became a curse for you so that the blessing could pour forth into your life. It is I who parted the Red Sea so that the children of promise could walk on dry ground of whom the children of disobedience attempting to do so were drowned. It is I. The very same one who defeated death, sin and satan so that you can conquer as well. It is I. All by myself, without any external help, who served as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to put a wall of partition between my chosen ones and the destructive army of the Pharoah.
It is I who was made one with God. And because nothing is impossible with God, nothing shall be impossible for Jesus. It is I, and none other, Jesus is saying to you and I. Hence the need to let the fear of the unknown roll off our lives forever. He is the one who is full of grace and truth. Walk in His truth for therein lies our freedom, our liberation, our deliverance, our provision. In short, our salvation. For if Jesus is in our boat, no matter the storms we may face, we will safely reach our destination.
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