I’ve recently felt convicted that if my ultimate goal is to become more like Christ, I actually need to know Christ. The obvious place to go when wanting to learn more about Jesus and the life he lived is the Bible. So, I’ve been intentionally spending time in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) reading about the life of Jesus, trying to know him more.
Can I admit something, though? Sometimes I don’t get him. I don’t really understand why he often answers questions with more questions, why early in his ministry, he didn’t want people to know who he was (aka: Messianic Secret, thank you, Bible college) or why he didn’t just talk in a way that everyone could understand.
I just started reading the book Everybody Always by Bob Goff and have been challenged to not over exaggerate where I’m at in my faith journey. So, this is my attempt to keep it real with y’all.
It was one of those nights where I knew I wanted to spend time reading God’s word, but I was feeling a little disappointed. I had more questions about Jesus than I felt like I had answers. I remember praying before I opened my Bible, “Jesus, show me who you are.” A pretty simple prayer, but I was desperate to understand him even just a little more. I really like reading from the book of John, because John refers to himself as the disciple who Jesus loves. I adore his confidence in Jesus’ love for him and want to adopt that identity. Anyways, John 23 popped into my head. If you’re really familiar with the Bible, you’ll quickly know that there is not, in fact, a 23rd chapter in John. Oops. I guess that wasn’t a divine thought. haha It was worth a shot. Instead, I flipped to John 17. Mostly because 17 in my favorite number.
The entire chapter of John 17 is Jesus praying. I am facinated by the way he prays. At one point, he specifically prays for all believers, present and future. Did you know that Jesus prays for you? How insane is that? You mean, he came to earth, died on the cross to make a way for us to be with God in heaven and he ALSO prays for us?! Yes. He loves us a lot. Read what Jesus says as he’s praying about me and you, future believers:
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began
John 17: 20-24
What sticks out to you in that passage? For me, it’s this line, “Father, I want these, whom you have given me, to be with me where I am.” I cannot read this enough. The God I serve is SO relational. Jesus is literally about to die on the cross and he doesn’t resent us for it. He just wants us to be with him, forever, in eternity. Man, oh man, I love that. If I were Jesus, and I was about to die on a cross for some pretty messed up people, my prayers would not sound like that. garunteed. You know what I mean?
I’m currently going through Beth Moore’s Quest study. I’m only a week into this study, but we’ve been looking at the questions God asks people throughout scripture. Think about that. Why would God need to be asking us questions? He knows everything.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and they aren’t asking any questions? It’s kind of hard to keep it going, right? Like, you can only carry on a conversation for so long with only statements. Try it sometime. See if you can have a quality conversation with someone without ever asking a question. God almost solely asks questions in scripture as a means to create intimacy with us. I love that about him.
I’ve been thinking about this word lately. We know that Jesus was called Emmanuel, meaning, God with us. Jesus was really great at being with people. He still desires that now. Jesus is no longer here on Earth, but he has sent a helper, Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26). Holy Spirit is with us. Guiding, reminding, encouraging and loving us.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” I am so thankful I serve a God who doesn’t try to hide from me. He wants to reveal his heart to me. Today I’m basking in the truth that the heart of Jesus is being near me. He wants to be with me and he sent Holy Spirit to help me understand more of who he is.