If you were to ask one hundred different people who you were, you would get one hundred different answers. I am a wife to my husband, a daughter to my parents, a mother to my own daughter, a sister, a friend, or a stranger to anybody else. With all of these roles come many different opinions and experiences, even if I’m a stranger to you. If we cannot claim to know one another at all then opinions easily come from our own subjectivity, or based off of the opinion or experience of another. And so it is in our experience or lack thereof with Jesus. He’s the same always, but the opinions of Him can be vastly different. If proximity + intimacy = experience then our choices become either positioning ourselves near God, listening for the intimacy of our heartbeats aligning with His own heartbeat, or distancing our hearts, and consequently robbing ourselves of a uniquely Holy experience. Our opinions and experiences of Jesus are in direct relation to our proximity and intimacy with Him.
→ Proximity + Intimacy = Experience
Before I got married, I wanted to be as prepared as possible, and so I read all the books I had enough time for. I got all the information and knowledge I could about cultivating a healthy marriage, but no amount of books could have compared with the actual experience of being married. And how useful would all my information and knowledge have been when that first big throw down exploded if I didn’t use all I had learned? We can have all the information and knowledge about Jesus in the world, but what is it worth if we don’t apply our information and use it in our experience of Him, and His goodness, His grace, His love?
In Matthew 16, Jesus asks His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” The disciples give Jesus their answers, and He then asks, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” Jesus wasn’t playing on insecurities here-He knows who He is-Jesus was asking His disciples what was in their hearts about Him. They were close to Him, they were intimately wrapped up in Him, so what was their experience of Him? Who did they say He was?
Simon Peter called Him the Christ, the Son of the living God. He was right! But how would you answer?
- Pray! The ultimate question we can answer is who we say Jesus is. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.
- Read the Gospels. Jesus, who was fully human and fully divine truly shows how relatable, how relevant, and how completely Holy He is. Begin with the Gospel of John if you need a starting point!
- Invite Jesus into your full life. Remember, our proximity and intimacy culminates into our experience. Inviting Jesus into just bits and pieces of life won’t cut it if we want to fully experience all that He is.
So how about you? Who do you say He is?