I testify on my behalf and so does the Father who sent me
When you’re looking for a job, references are extremely important. They can mean the difference between employment and unemployment, or between a great job and a mediocre job. That’s because employers want some evidence that you are a person of integrity and that you will perform well. They want to believe you, your résumé, and the face that you present to them. But they also want a little more certainty—and having someone else back you up is a very helpful way of ensuring that.
In his discussions with the religious leaders of Israel, Jesus was doing something much more serious than applying for a job. He was claiming to be “the light of the world” (John 8:12). He had already told them that God was his Father, but they didn’t believe him (5:18). To them he was a fraud and a threat to their authority. So they tried to trap him by demanding some proof of his claims.
But Jesus was secure and confident, both in who he was and what he had been sent to do. At his baptism and his transfiguration, his Father had already testified on his behalf by calling him his “beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). So there were his two “references”—himself and God. For Jesus, that was all the evidence that mattered.
We can find it difficult to feel confident at times, especially when we face some kind of opposition. We may question the decisions we make as we try to raise our children in a world that doesn’t support our values. When we encounter people who don’t believe in God or who challenge our faith, we may start to doubt ourselves.
When the world outside doesn’t affirm you, it’s clear that your confidence has to come from inside. You need to remember who you are, just as Jesus did. And this is who you are: a child of God. Just as he did with Jesus at his baptism, God testifies on your behalf. He tells you, “You are my beloved son. You are my beloved daughter. You have great dignity in my eyes.” This is the best “job reference” you could ever hope to have!
So the next time you are doubting yourself, look in the mirror—and remember who you are.
Word Among Us