Mistaken Identity

Apparently, there are several other people in the world who look like me.  At least, that’s what I’ve been told a lot through the years.  I think maybe God just kept trying to get it right, so He made several versions.  Whatever the reason, I often hear, “Oh, you look just like my sister-in-law”, or, “I was sure I saw you downtown the other day .”  It makes me feel extremely sorry for these poor individuals.

A few years ago, one of these look-alikes moved into my same circle of acquaintances.  Sharon and her husband came to serve on the same district where my husband served as a pastor.  I recognized the resemblance the first time I saw her, and several others mentioned it as well.  By the next district meeting, she was approached by individuals who thought she was me.  She looked at them blankly and said, “I think you have the wrong person.”  When I talked to her about it, she began to understand the reason for the confusion.

By the time we got to district ‘family camp’ that summer, things really got interesting.  Several people mistook Sharon for me, including my best friend.  My own son ran across the campground and gave her a hug, then looked up and said, “Oops!! You’re not my Mom!”  She thanked him for the hug and directed him to my location.

Sharon and I got a lot of laughs out of it, and being new, it really helped her get known quickly in her new surroundings. We actually thought about getting t-shirts that said, “I’m the Other One” or “Are You Sure It’s Me?”  It was a fun experience, one which we both enjoyed for as long as it lasted.

So here’s a question:  what if we looked and acted so much like Jesus that people mistook us for Him?  What if they looked at us and said, “Oops!! I thought you were Jesus!” What if, as we embraced and encouraged them, they felt as if it was God Himself who was touching them? I believe if we completely surrender ourselves to God and the leading of His Spirit, it can truly happen.

Paul explains it to the Ephesians this way: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24) Later on he says, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us, and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV – emphasis mine).

Will you meet someone today who will be totally convinced that it’s not you they’re looking at, but Jesus?

Copyright 2010 Mary E. Egidio — Permission is granted to share this work, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes (yes, you can share it, but please tell who wrote it, where you got it, and don’t sell it!)

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