What an amazing world of high tech we live in! You can go online and get a uniquely designed logo for your small business, become an ordained minister, or take medical lab tests without ever talking to a real person.
But when you need to talk to a real person about your phone bill, you call and get an automated message. You press the prompts and get another automated message. You press more prompts, more automated messages and can’t find a real person when you need one.
Truth is, as our automated world makes us more alienated from people, we’re discovering it’s difficult to find real relationships. We’re losing touch with the personal.
That’s what I love about Christianity. Unlike other religions that require a number of prompts in order to attain that religion’s ultimate status—pushing the right buttons, practicing the right behaviors, perfecting a disciplined life, Christianity is a person, Jesus Christ, the Savior of everyone in the world. It’s personal.
Jesus wants you to know and love him like he knows and loves you, and this then connects you to a personal relationship with God the Father, too. “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to Father except through me. If you really know me, you know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6,7).
Getting close to God is the ultimate goal of religion. Jesus is saying, “Get to know me personally, and you’ll discover that everything there is to know about religion, everything there is to believe about divine goodness in your life, comes after that.”
There’s something more to Christianity than professional knowledge of information. Personal intimacy with God. The Bible will not connect the dots about how you are getting your needs met, the best way to live your life, your identity, your purpose, what’s the secret to awesome relationships, or any of that until you deal with this question, “Who is Jesus?”
- What do you make of him?
- How is he changing you?
- Where can he take you if you trust him?
- Do you want to know him better?
This statement of Jesus is his promise that he wants to be your personal Savior. He knows everything about you, including your sinful habits, hangups and hurts, and still, Jesus loves you. He invites you to come closer to him, beyond information and professionalism to discover greater intimacy and clearer identity.
Dear Jesus, you invite me not to behavior that keeps the rules or a bunch of traditions that identify my religion, but to yourself. You make it personal. Come closer to me. Draw me near to trust you, to love you, and to get to know you better. Amen.
In the gospel of John, the Bible reports seven “I Am” statements that Jesus makes about himself as a person. “I Am” in the Greek language is an intense way of introducing yourself, like saying, “I, myself, and only me.” It also reflects the name of God in Hebrew “Yaweh,” which means “to be” or “real and relational.” Do some research and identify the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus.