I will always remember the time my now husband and I were driving home from what was a rather awkward date and even more awkward drive home. We had been on about three dates and I was already head over heels in love and from all reliable sources (church grapevine) the feeling was mutual. We had known each other for over ten years, served in youth and creative together and shared many of the same friends. It was fair to say we knew each other well but as far as conversation in this moment (and to be honest in all the other moments on our past three dates) we were at a loss.
As we drive home from another awkward date (putt putt possibly) the silence in the car was deafening. I recall stating the obvious as we drove:
“Well this is kind of awkward, we don’t really have anything to talk about hey? Maybe it’s just not meant to be….”
I felt sick as I spoke those words. To this day remembering the moment still brings tears to my eyes. A relationship that now means everything to us nearly slipped though our fingers.
Ten years on we find ourselves blissfully married, soul mates, best friends and always with endless things to talk about.
So what was the problem?
In those early days we knew so much about each other from what we had observed in church life, through friends and serving together but we didn’t really know each other. We had never actually engaged in a conversation that went beyond the surface. To really get to know each other took time. Time in the moment then lots of those moments over time. Those early days were awkward at first but over time the relationship grew and flourished to what it is today.
I can’t help but think that this scenario perfectly reflects our revelation of Jesus. (Yes this post was titled ‘who is Jesus?’ and I hadn’t forgotten Him in my little trip down memory lane).
When we think about who Jesus is how do we respond?
Is our response borrowed from what we have seen Him do for someone else, what He has said to a friend, a relative, a pastor, or something we have read in a book? Or is our response based on personal revelation and experience?
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. (Matthew 16:13-7 NIV)
This is one of the passages that undergirds my revelation of worship (more on that another day). It serves as reminder that I need to personally encounter Jesus for myself.
When Jesus asked the disciples “who do you say that I am?” they responded with a borrowed revelation- “some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
And so He presses again.
“But who do you say that I am?”
What comes next is beautiful.
Only Peter has the courage to stand up and share his revelation of Christ. From here, Jesus tells Him that this revelation is from heaven (not bor rowed from others ‘revealed by flesh and blood‘) and Jesus then goes on to tell Peter who Peter really is.
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)
When we have a personal revelation of Jesus we not only discover who Jesus is but in doing so we discover more of who we are.
To the measure we know Him we have the ability to reflect and share who He is with others.
I call it my unfolding revelation of Christ. My experiences have shaped my revelation of who He is. It is only in times of lack that He has revealed Himself to me as provider, in times of sickness He is revealed as healer, in times of unrest that I have come to know His peace.
There is always more to know, that’s why it is an unfolding revelation.
Some aspects of His nature I still only know though borrowed revelation which is fine for now, but what I really treasure and desire more of is, my personal revelation of Jesus. This has been collected little by little as I experience Him personally over time.
Today as I look back on my relationship with Jesus (just like my relationship with my hubby or any other great friendship) I look back and think “Oh now I know him! I thought I knew him back then but there was so much more to know.”
Unlike my relationship with Joe however when it comes to Jesus the closer I get I feel in many ways the less I know. Yes I know Jesus more, but I realise there is so much more to know as I begin to encounter His true magnitude.
My question today is:
Do you know Him? Like really know Him?
Perhaps this Easter is the perfect time to discover more…
If you are not a regular church goer why not check out a service near you.
In His love,
P.S. By all means if you feel like sharing, comment below: who is Jesus to you?