Athlete, Who Do You Say I AM


Athlete, Who Do You Say I AM

Dr. Madeline Manning Mims

Mark 8:27-29 (ESV)

And Jesus went on with His disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told Him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered Him, “You are the Christ.”


I’m a four-time Olympian, gold and silver medalist in track and field. What I have been doing for over 40 years now, after my career in track was over, is working with the athletes as a chaplain. 

I was doing my devotions and I came across the Scriptures in Mark 8:27, where Jesus was talking to His disciples and He was wondering, What are people saying about Me?

Who do they say that I am? 

It was interesting that the Scriptures said they all started talking at once. 

Some believe that You’re John the Baptist, some believe You’re Elijah.

Some think that You’re Jeremiah or one of the great prophets.

Everybody they talked about was dead. Basically they were telling Jesus that people thought He was somebody who came back from the dead.

And then He stopped and said, Okay, but who do you say that I am? knowing that they had walked with Him, talked with Him. 

He had been teaching them. He was doing miracles. He was doing things with them. They ate together. They slept in the same areas together. They were together in unity. And so He was asking them personally, who do you say that I am?

Nobody answered. It got dead quiet. And I started thinking, if I had been back there at that time, what would I have done? I probably would have tried to think of what to say. What does He want me to say? How do I answer this? 

As I was thinking about that, it was as if the Lord Himself just came to me and said, Okay, Madeline, who do you say that I am now?

I already know the facts: 

“You are the Christ. You are the Son of God. You are the Son of Man. The Savior of the world. The anointed Christ of God.”

All those things are facts. 

But I want to know from you, Madeline, who do you think that I am? Who do you say that I am in our relationship?

It hit me so deep down in my spirit, this desire to try to express to Jesus what He meant to me.

All I could say was, “You’re the air I breathe. You’re the reason that I am who I am. You’re the purpose for which I live and move and have my being. You are who I am. I don’t know myself aside from You. My identity is locked in who You are to me. You’re my everything.

“I don’t want to live without You, and I can’t live without You. So please understand when I say, Lord, I’m getting to know You more and more each day. I probably will never fully know all of You, even in eternity. I’ll keep knowing You more. 

“Another part of You will always be expressed to me. But I do know this, without You, I’m nothing. And I’m nobody. And I thank You for loving me.”


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