Every disciple is consumed with the adventure of finding Jesus. We search for Him in this place, in this moment, wherever we may find ourselves. The search is made more difficult by the amount of disguise we’ve allowed to be placed on Jesus. For our entire lives, we’ve been told stories of who Jesus is. We’ve chosen to believe some of it, and discarded others as inconsistent with our understanding of the character of God.
Along the way, we’ve painted a picture of Christ in our minds to help us see Him in our lives. The extent to which our picture of Jesus is accurate in relation to who He really is, determines how successful we will be in finding Him in our day to day lives.
I grew up in the church, so I’ve been inundated with Biblical teaching from an early age. After spending some years rebelling against most everything associated with organized religion, I’ve returned to Jesus with a vengeance. For years, I’ve filled my weeks listening to messages from multiple pastors and teachers and reading as many books as I could afford. I say all this to demonstrate I’ve been influenced by a wide range of perspectives on Scripture in general, and who Jesus is in particular. As a result, I’ve had to spend considerable time stripping the disguise so I could rediscover Jesus as He truly is.
My wife comes from the opposite side of the spectrum. Growing up in a home outside of the church, and in an environment which was probably agnostic at best, she has none of the trappings of traditional theology and doesn’t struggle as much with a purer vision of Jesus. To her, He is who He says He is without any other complications. There are advantages to my knowledge of different perspectives, and to her less encumbered view, but in the end the only thing that matters is finding Jesus.
We can’t follow Christ if we don’t know who He is. Jesus is the Son of God, so there are things we will never be able to understand about who He is. I’m never going to do justice in describing Him in 500 words. To understand who Jesus is, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time in His Word. The entire Bible is about Jesus. Every story points to some aspect of His character. The issue is we tend to want to read Scripture quickly and glean what we can as fast as possible. We like our learning bite-sized with little barrier to entry, and then quickly move on to the next thing.
If you are serious about finding Jesus, you’re going to have to chew His Word slowly. Reading the Bible must become a process, not an event. You’re going to have to take a lot of notes and spend time reflecting on those. Then you’re going to have to go back to the passage and digest it some more. Trust me, He’s in there if you know Who you’re looking for. Let me leave you with the very short version: Jesus is love. Always. He is the way, the truth, and life. He is never the opposite of any of these attributes. Seek Him. Find Him. Ask Him to help you see Him. Fall in love with scripture all over again, and enjoy the adventure of finding Jesus there, and throughout your life.