Who Are You, and Why Are You Here?
by Matt Hernandez
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.Romans 10:17
Created to Be
There’s an old story about a rabbi named Akiva who went to his village to gather supplies. Walking back to his cottage, he took the wrong path and ended up in an unfamiliar part of town. Suddenly, a voice came through the darkness: “Who are you, and why are you here?” Shocked, he realized he had wandered into the Roman garrison, and the voice had come from a young sentry keeping guard. Akiva answered his questions with another question: “How much do they pay you to stand guard and ask that question?”
The sentry, seeing he was just a rabbi, answered meekly, “Five drachmas a week.” At that point the rabbi said, “Young man, I will double your pay if you come with me, stand in front of my cottage, and ask me those questions each morning: ‘Who are you, and why are you here?’”
I believe these are questions burning inside all of us. Deep in our bones we believe our life was made for more, so we’re asking, seeking, and searching. These two questions point me back to Jesus, which will always point me back to the Scriptures. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” What I have found through reading the Scriptures is abundant life doesn’t just happen when we die, but Jesus offers it to us right here and now! The Gospel isn’t about Jesus coming to teach us how to get to Heaven but about Jesus coming to teach us how to live.
We come to this understanding by reading God’s Word daily. These sacred texts are more than just 2,000-year-old stories. They tell a larger story of a God who is living, breathing, and active, and He wants nothing more than to be living, breathing, and active in our lives. We, as followers of Jesus, have our part to play in this larger story. I once heard someone say the Bible is black words on a white page, and we get to fill the space in between with our story. We participate and make it personal by reading the Scriptures and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us through these sacred texts.
If we are all image bearers of God, then the more we come to know our Creator the more we know about ourselves and who we are in Him. It’s in this discipline that we discover our identity and our purpose. It’s in this holy moment when we can answer the questions, who am I, and why am I here?
Dear Jesus, through Your Word, I pray I come to a deeper understanding of who You are. Teach me the part You have called me to play in this larger story. Holy Spirit I am asking for You to show me through the Word who I am and why I am here. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For Further Study
- Psalm 139:14; John 15:1–17; Hebrews 4:12